This is all we know so far. Just an unconfirmed report.


We’ll update here if any other news develops tonight.

The Reds acquired Harvey from the Mets in a May 8 trade that sent catcher Devin Mesoraco to New York. Harvey made 17 starts for the Reds. In 90.1 innings, he struck out 69 and walked 21 with 4.28 ERA, 4.52 FIP and 4.48 xFIP. 

We wrote a few things about him here: Matt Wilkes analyzed Harvey’s potential to regain his form in this post about a week after the trade. Jeff Gangloff laid out the scenarios for what the Reds could do with Harvey. Nick Carrington wrote a terrific retrospective on the Reds trade for Matt Harvey and issues surrounding the trade deadline and the Reds inability to move him then. 

A week ago, I explained the dilemma the Reds faced in timing when they sent Harvey through waivers:

“At the start of August, a team would have been on the hook for about $1.8 million. That might be too much for a team like Cleveland to block with. But now at the end of August, it’s half that. I wonder when the Reds tried/will try to send him through. The earlier he goes through the more value he has for a new team (although does cost more). If they wait (1) he has additional starts to help or hurt his chances, (2) he takes more and more starts away from other pitchers. Hard to get around the conclusion the Reds really botched this at the deadline. They had to suck it up and take whatever they could get.”

Turns out they waited almost to the end of the August waiver period. 

It was stunning news when the Reds failed to make a trade at the deadline. A bunch of people, including the Reds according to reporters, believed Harvey would pass through waivers, meaning the Reds could try to trade him to any team. I was skeptical:

“Harvey has to pass through waivers to even be tradable in August. I have doubts that will happen. His price tag will be about $1 million by the time the trade occurs. I can imagine a bunch of teams putting in a blocking claim and being willing to eat the $1 million if the Reds just ditch Harvey, which is hard to see them doing. The Reds absolutely had to take the best offer at the trade deadline, even if they weren’t satisfied with it. The opportunity cost of starts Harvey takes up and the laughable six-man rotation is an ongoing problem. For whatever reason, whether it was owner pressure to keep winning, other than the Duvall trade, the paralysis at the trade deadline was awful.”

The Reds are now left with three choices: (1) make a deal within 48 hours with the team who claimed Harvey, (2) release Harvey to that team and receive nothing in return, or (3) revoke the waiver claim and hold on to him.

Why would the Reds simply send Harvey to the claiming team? They would save about $1 million and they would have a solution to the embarrassing and bench-shorting six-man rotation. And that’s absolutely what they should do if necessary. 

92 Responses

  1. Colorado Red

    Hope they can get a bag of balls.
    Does zero good to keep him.
    Should have taken the best offer at the deadline.

      • David

        Two bags of balls.

        Another front office brain freeze. Riggleman swore they were going to make some noise in the NL Central.

  2. Jeff Gangloff

    I don’t even care what happens to him anymore as long as he’s off the team and not taking up a rotation spot. What a fail this has turned out to be.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I absolutely agree. The Reds really missed the boat by not trading him at the deadline. Now their hands are somewhat tied, but I’m just ready for him not to be a Red. Bonus would be I don’t have to read thoughts on an extension with the Reds.

    • lost11found

      Not a fail when you consider that moving Mesaroco, neccesitated (or allowed) the Reds to obtain Casali, who has been better than Mes after all the injuries, and could be a solid backup catcher for the next few seasons until Tyler Stephenson is ready.

      It was a risk that allowed them to upgrade a bench spot, and provided a small chance to gain a prospect too.

      It’s almost a certainty that if they had taken ‘anything’ at the deadline some of the same voices harping on the FO for not trading him for anything, whould have harped on them for not getting more value. Some folk were just not going to be happy about this no matter what. Maybe I am too optimistic. but when it come to baseball, finding a silver lining makes it more fun to follow.

      Red Sox could be looking for some depth/insurance with Sale back on the DL, and Oakland/Seattle/Philly/Atlanta could all be desinations as well since it would be a low risk move to try and gain more pitching depth for stretch drive.

  3. CI3J

    I really can’t do anything but shake my head at the incompetence of this front office. Even if they could have traded Harvey for a AAA reliever at the deadline, THEY ABSOLUTELY SHOULD HAVE. And I find it hard to believe they didn’t get a better offer than that.

    And now we’ve come to a point where the Reds could let Harvey go for nothing except saving $1 million bucks. Or they keep him so he keeps making pointless starts then leaves at the end of the season…. Again, for nothing.

    You really can’t make this up, folks.

    • Colorado Red

      Think Zack C, last year.
      Except they had the CQ possibility there.

  4. Phil

    They have so many cy young candidates ready to jump in and take the place of arguably their best pitcher. If he has so little trade value, sign him 20m.for 2 years.

      • greenmtred

        I agree, too. If everybody is willing to trade him for a bag of baseballs, there’s little lost if he walks at the end of the year–just a bag of baseballs. He’s showing signs of being a good pitcher, and the Reds need good pitchers desperately. The prospects seem to be getting starts in spite of his presence, and if the Reds can sign him, it will help solidify the rotation next year.

    • Daytonian

      @Phil: Don’t know about the money and the deal you suggest. But your first sentence is absolutely correct.

  5. big5ed

    I could see the Dodgers or Rockies claiming him because they want him, not because of a blocking motive. Plus, somebody leaked the story for a reason.

    Some connected with the Reds, including both Chris Welsh and JIm Riggleman, believe Harvey is improving quickly. If so, I could see them withdrawing the waivers if the Cardinals, Brewers or Cubs claimed Harvey. Harvey’s playing in a pennant race in a good atmosphere like Busch would give those teams a free (well, kinda free) look at him and a leg up to resigning him.

    They may rather eat Harvey’s contract than risk facing Harvey as a good pitcher for a division rival next year and beyond. A million dollars is a million dollars, though.

    They’ve got about 30 non-Bailey/non-Harvey starts left this year. It isn’t going to make much difference if that number is 27, although I would like to see Reed get some starts.

    • RedInIND

      MLBTradeRumors: The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney tweets that the Cubs are not the team that claimed Harvey. (10:50pm on 8-22-18)

  6. Seat101

    We should give away our best pitcher so Stevenson and Romano can get more starts. Riiiiiiiight.

    • KHG

      I feel like you and I might be lone rangers on this sentiment…

      • Seat101

        In the baseball version of an X-Files episode.

      • I-71_Exile

        FWIW, I’m with you guys. A rehabbing Matt Harvey is better now and likely better over the next two years than Stephenson, Romano, Bailey, or Reed. He has ace talent and knows how to harness it. If Harvey fully regains his health—yes, a big IF—no Reds starter short of Castillo can touch him.

        I’d love the Reds to sign him.

      • jay johnson

        agree totally and have been saying it all along

      • Bob

        I agree that Harvey is our best pitcher and has been very valuable to help our team win again. I am glad we got him.

        But it would also be good if we got something of value in a trade now.

      • sezwhom

        You have some company. I’m in agreement.

      • Daytonian

        @Seat101 @KHG: You are not alone in your sentiment.

      • KHG

        This does give me some warm and fuzzies :).

    • BigRedMike

      Not the Reds best pitcher, but, why does it matter if he pitches the remainder of the year for the Reds?

  7. Show triple Slash

    Billy as well per cTrent. Will be surprised if they get what they want. Can’t see them letting him go for nothing, notwithstanding they have a real question regarding whether to tender or not for next season.

    • Show Triple Slash

      Actually cTrent retweeted Robert Murray.

  8. George
    Harvey claimed off revocable trade waivers
    Aug. 22: Matt Harvey has been claimed by an unknown team off revocable trade waivers, according to Robert Murray of The Athletic.
    Harvey had been the subject of much trade buzz in the weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and it was a slight surprise when he stayed put with the Reds. But given his impending free agency this offseason and his continued decent numbers since moving to Cincinnati (6-5, 4.28 ERA, 69 strikeouts, 21 walks in 17 starts), it appeared likely that Harvey would continue to play a prominent role in August trade rumors.
    Harvey, 29, is owed $5.625 million this season, though the Mets assumed the remainder of Harvey’s salary when they traded Harvey for Devin Mesoraco in early May.
    The claim doesn’t mean that Harvey will necessarily be on the move in the coming days. As Fancred’s Jon Heyman points out, it’s unclear if the unknown team made the claim for Harvey to block another team with worse waiver priority from working out a deal with the Reds. Cincinnati has two days to work out a deal with the claiming team, let Harvey go to that team or pull him back off the waiver wire.

    Just to clarify the money owed by who; The Mets have been paying for Harvey NOT the reds. The REDS have been paying Meso’s contract to leave.

    • Colorado Red

      Note exactly.
      The Reds sent the difference between Devon and Harvey’s salary to the Mets.
      The Reds are paying his salary.
      The initial article on the salary was confusing.

  9. George


    Hamilton claimed by unknown team
    Aug. 22: Harvey isn’t the only player involved in potential Reds negotiations — Robert Murray of The Athletic also reported that speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton has been claimed by an unknown team off revocable trade waivers.

    Hamilton is hitting .236/.302/.317 with 29 steals in 121 games this season, and is under team control through next season. The Reds had reportedly been listening to offers for the 27-year-old center fielder during the offseason, but no substantive rumors ever materialized during that time or in the period leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

    The Reds could pull Hamilton back off the waiver wire if they aren’t able to work out a favorable deal with the claiming team — though the identity of the team remains unknown, clubs like the Indians need outfield help down the stretch, particuarly in light of Leonys Martin’s illness, and Hamilton’s speed and strong defense could make him an appealing bench piece for a postseason roster.

  10. Sliotar

    Scott Boras is really going to stick it to some team this off-season. His reputation is damaged. People thinking he has lost his touch after J.D. Martinez and Mike Moustakas had to take lesser deals last winter than Boras promised.

    I am glad it will not be the Reds.

    Besides, if Matt Harvey is the best name the Reds can attract as a free agent SP, this rebuild has years to go. Open the checkbook enough, and a better name will sign.

    Let the sorting continue.

    • big5ed

      There aren’t that many better pitchers who will be free agents. Patrick Corbin, a New Ayor area guy in a year when the Yankees need pitching. Charlie Morton.

    • Indy Red Man

      Who’s better? They might be able to get a guy like Wheeler with top prospects, but couldn’t keep him once free agency beckons. You know the drill. They’ll bring Feldman out of retirement or sign Edwin Jackson or big sexy Colon! That’s the Reds speed.

  11. roger garrett

    Its been a joke from the get go.How can so many people fall asleep at the same time.He was a rental for us and a rental for wherever he ends up from the day he was acquired so you take the best offer at the deadline period.Now just release him to whomever claimed him and use the 1 million to buy some common sense for this organization.

    • George

      The Reds haven’t been paying Harvey, the METS have. The REDS have been paying for Devin Mes.

      • Show Triple Slash

        I believe the way it worked was that the Reds sent $ along with Mesaraco to the Mets at the time of the trade, for the difference in salaries. Thus, I believe it is the Reds who technically are paying Harvey now; they already coughed up the dollar differential to the Mets that the Mets are using to pay Mesaraco.

      • Colorado Red

        Yes, you are correct.
        The initial articles where confusing.

      • Show Triple Slash

        Or, perhaps more accurately, the teams traded contracts, and presumably the Reds are sending monthly installments for the salary differential to the Mets, Harvey is paid his monthly contract amount by the Reds out of the Reds’ payroll account, and Mesaraco is paid his monthly contract amount by the Mets out of the Mets’ payroll account.

      • Jim Walker

        I’d think it has to be this way. The only way the Reds are actually paying Mesoraco anything is if there were deferred payments already accrued which it was agreed were not in the trade. Recall when Phillips wasn’t traded to the Nats, settlement of substantial deferred payments was supposedly what sank the deal.

    • greenmtred

      Not a rental if he signs. It looks different now than when the deal was made because nobody knew if Harvey could be effective. He’s proving to be and probably getting better, so it’s reasonable that the goals and expectations would change. True, maybe Boras is a terminal impediment to signing him for a reasonable price, but there’s one way to find out.

      • roger garrett

        He goes to the highest bidder.That won’t be us nor should it be.

      • greenmtred

        Wouldn’t that depend upon what the highest bid is? The Reds shouldn’t offer him a long-term, high-dollar deal, since his status as a pitcher returning from serious injury with a history of off-field issues should make any team think twice about opening the vault, but I agree with Indy: Who is likely to be available to the Reds who is better? If the team that claimed him offers a reasonable return (no, not a bag of balls or a AA lifer), then that might change things. But the return probably won’t be a pitcher who is ready, or nearly so, to join the rotation. I expect that the sentiment to get rid of him is based on the idea that he can’t be signed. Maybe he can’t, but we don’t know that, and if he did sign, it would help in the team’s area of greatest need.

      • Sabr Chris

        If he’s not willing to sign no, then the only thing he accomplishing for the Reds is to take starts from prospects needing the experience/evaluation for next year.

  12. WVRedlegs

    It will be interesting to find out which team got the claim. It would almost have to be a National League team, as they had the first crack. If it was an AL team, that means all those NL teams in contention passed. If it was the Yankees or Red Sox that means Harvey almost made it through unclaimed. I Don’t see much reason for either to claim him though, unless the Yankees were blocking Boston.
    Hard to say until it is known. My guess is the Dodgers.
    There has been 3 minor trades with them over the last year. Cingrani, Ariel Hernandez, and Dylan Floro. And the Reds have done well on those 3 trades. Hope it is the Dodgers and they work out a trade. There is an established line there.

    • Jim Walker

      Based on the Riggleman statement that the 6 man rotation was about to become kaput, it sounds like Harvey is gone regardless of whether they get anything back aside from the waiver fee.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I am hoping that’s what he was alluding to .

      • Matthew Habel

        That’s what I was thinking as well but Riggleman has completely contradicted himself before so who really knows if the 6-man rotation is going anywhere

      • bouwills

        Probably going to 7 man rotation.

    • Colorado Red

      Or the Cubs. Darvish’s rehab did not go well.
      So, the Cubs are my guess. But I do not know for sure.
      Only a wild guess.

  13. Jim Walker

    At this point I’m actually more excited by the Hamilton situation because there aren’t that many starts left for Harvey to take away from anybody else. On the other hand clearing the Hamilton situation impacts not only this season when seeing Phil Ervin and Scott Schebler in CF for 6 weeks would be valuable but also clears the decks for a new CF next year regardless of who that turns out to be.

  14. Klugo

    DW saw Murphy and Adams get through. So he thought maybe he could sneak ours through with no one looking. Haha.
    Worth a try. Let’s see what happens.

  15. Bill j

    MLBTRADERUMORS says it wasn’t the Cubs that claimed Harvey.

  16. Indy Red Man

    I feel like the majority of RLN puts Harvey into Scooter territory where they assume younger and cheaper guys can provide whatever he provides. I don’t see it that way! The Reds are 10-7 in his starts and he has a 3.63 era with the Reds if you throw out the one clunker after the AS break vs Pitt. They have 2-3 better pitchers, but they’re not finding 5 better starters then him on next years roster? On top of that, I think he’s just getting his legs back and could improve? It all comes down to how much $ he expects? He seems to genuinely like the Reds so that’s in our favor!

    Billy? If they trade him then Riggleman cannot take turns having the entire roster bunt (and usually fail) so Billy can squander the rbi at 3rd base. I don’t see big Bob cutting him loose though?

    • greenmtred

      Mostly agree, Indy. I’m not so sure they wouldn’t let BH go, though. If that were the case, why put him on waivers?

      • Matthew Habel

        Most players get put through waivers. Not much to lose, you can always pull them back if claimed

      • Jim Walker

        Also, waiver claims (and pull backs) sometimes set up the short list of where to start on off season trade talks.

      • Jim Walker

        100% true. If all the talk about Castellini loving BHam is accurate, they need to come up with an offer too good to refuse.

    • BigRedMike

      Harvey has one of the worst xFIP’s in the NL. In addition, has one of the lowest K/9 rates and is a fly ball pitcher. 2 major arm injuries as well.

      The fact that he is one of the better Red’s starters is not a reason to re sign him. Harvey has similar results to Romano and Bailey.

      Hamilton – it does not appear that the Reds are expected to trade him since being claimed off waivers. Hamilton would be of value to the Reds if they knew how to utilize him. Starting him everyday batting lead off is not a good utilization rate.

      • greenmtred

        The deal with Harvey is the evidence of improvement. He is coming off 2 major surgeries, as you point out, so it wouldn’t have been reasonable to expect him to anything but tentative initially. His velocity is improving, as is his command, and he’s gone deeper in games. Had he not improved, I doubt that we’d be having the conversation. Agree about Billy, though I’m not so sure that they won’t trade him before next season.

  17. roger garrett

    I don’t see Billy moving at all.Just won’t happen.He will be back in year 6 causing havoc.

  18. Klugo

    And from what Ive see, our Young Guns are just not quite ready to carry the load for a contending team yet. IMO, they are still a year or , for some, two, away. If we want to contend NEXT YEAR, we need some veteran leadership in the starting rotation. If we want to continue the trial by fire while losing 90 games, then by all means, feed them to the wolves. Thats the way I see it, anyways.

  19. Klugo

    I will say this about Harvey and any FA pitcher, for that matter. I expect him to show favorably here in Cincy. If nothing else, its good business on his part. However, I just dont see many quality, young pitchers having a desire to come start in GABP for 3,4 years. To sustain success, we will have to grow them homegrown. FA pitcher acquisitions to GABP are going to come with a heightened level of risk, for one reason or another,that will make them willing to take that chance with their career. My opinion.

  20. Indy Red Man

    The Cards found Miles Mikolas in Japan. Where would they be without his 13-3 and 2.80 era? I’d say that’s money spent that was a little wiser then the Cubs w/Darvish. The Reds did it with Castillo. They have to get out there and make it happen! What good is a #7 farm system if you can’t trade some of them? They won’t all make it and there wouldn’t be room for all of them if they did?

    • Klugo

      Yes. They have to get creative. I think the Harvey deal falls into that category; even if it doesnt work out ideally. Ive come around to the thought that it was a creative, if not original, idea that was worth a try. They must also use trade chips. I dont see FA market being all that viable living in GABP. If a free agent deal works out for the Reds, it will probably be a significant dose of luck.

  21. vared

    I see the Harvey situation a little less critically than most here. Front office took a shot and it didn’t work out – oh well. Even if he walks for essentially nothing, the Reds still have Casali rather than Mes. I’m fine with that.

    • lost11found

      I replied with a similar thought upthread. It’s not a complete assesment unless Casali is included in the discussion.

  22. Indy Red Man

    Looking over Harvey’s game logs. He’s had 17 starts with the Reds. 10 versus NL contenders Chicago (2), St Louis (2), Milw, Ariz, LA, Col, Atl, and Philly. Only 1 start against fellow bottomfeeder SD. No Mets, Miami, KC, Detroit, or White Sox. No March/April starts with the Reds where it was 40 degrees.

    The Reds are 7-3 in his last 10 starts. He has a 3.76 era and 2.63 if you toss out the Pitt stinker. Only 3 HRs allowed in the other 51.1 when you throw out the Pitt game. He’s definitely improving!

    • Indy Red Man

      Harvey also with a fantastic 43 to 11 Strikeout/Walk ratio over the last 10 starts as well. I think the people with preconceived notions might need to turn it around on him? I’m doing it with Peraza….grudgingly:)

      • REDLEGS64

        Ahhh yes… another Peraza believer! Way to go Indy!

  23. Jim Walker

    For those who feel Reds should hold onto Harvey because they want him with the Reds next year and feel keeping him enhances that possibility, consider this possible scenario.

    Maybe he wasn’t traded at the July 31 deadline because extension talks were going on; and those talks have continued over the last three weeks. Now however, the Reds have made their best and final offer; and, Boras still won’t sign. Thus if Harvey is going to test the free agent market anyway, why shouldn’t the Reds go on and move him just to save the ~$700K or so in salary on 2018 since they still can bid on him in his upcoming free agency?

    BTW, if in fact there are stalled negotiations, putting him on waivers and having him claimed is a great “nuclear option”. It gave Harvey and Boras a fixed deadline of less than 48 hours to sign or end up wherever he does.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Jim, DW said at some point after the trade deadline that extension talks hadn’t taken place and wouldn’t during the season.

      • Jim Walker

        So there you have it. Not that I necessarily believe any public pronouncements like that by GM’s PoBO’s or agents.

      • REDLEGS64

        That’s like saying “we only negotiate 182 days and not on Sundays.” Professional sports is all negotiation, all the time. It has to be if your task is to find & keep pieces to build a team. There are too many other teams ready to take advantage of slow movers.

  24. bouwills

    Releasing Harvey to the claiming team is not any part of that all-important “developing a winning culture” theme, which is the sole reason for NOT making more deals at the trading deadline.

  25. WVRedlegs

    The rumors persist that it was the Brewers who put in the waiver claim on Harvey. If so, just ask for former UK pitcher Zack Brown back in return. Not a top prospect, low 20’s, about #21. He is RH and 23. Nice pitcher with a very good ground ball rate. A fair return for a player like Harvey. Brown is waaaay back in the pitching depth chart for the Brewers. He is at AA this year.
    Lets get on the Zack Brown Bandwagon. Less than 24 hours and counting for the claim to expire.

    • lost11found

      Its too bad that draft picks can’t be traded. That would be a nice fit as well. With whatever team claimed him.

    • REDLEGS64

      The Brew Crew does need pitching in the worst way – makes sense. They’re the kind of team that would sign Harvey to a LT deal – even mid-season!

  26. Jreis

    I just don’t understand why you would give your hottest pitcher up to the brewers or cubs now for free. You may as well keep for the rest of the year then let him walk.

    Are people THAT interested in seeing Reed Stephenson get extra starts this year? I am certainly not..

    Same thing really with Hamilton. You may as well keep him through next year as a bridge to get to Trammel and Siri. No need to give him up for nothing,

  27. Show Triple Slash

    The Reds might wind up keeping Harvey even at the cost of $1.1 million in order to send a message for the future that they won’t roll over if the Brewers won’t trade sufficient value. Could be an interesting game of chicken here.