For the Cincinnati Reds, Tuesday was deal or no deal. And at the 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline it was no deal.
Matt Harvey is still wearing a Reds uniform and that creates some problems for the rest of the season.
It was assumed that Harvey was acquired from the New York Mets early this season for catcher Devin Mesoraco so the Reds could trade Harvey at the trade deadline for more of those prospects/suspects the Reds continue to accumulate.
The trade deadline came and went and a few teams reportedly inquired about Harvey – Seattle, Milwaukee, the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco — but no deal was struck.
Now what? The Reds are currently in a six-man pitching rotation, something manager Jim Riggleman employed the last couple of times through the rotation. The thought was that when Harvey was traded the rotation would be back to five — Homer Bailey, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Anthony DeSclafani and Sal Romano.
Riggleman said a couple of weeks ago he didn’t want to continue a six-man rotation, figuring Harvey would be dealt and problem solved.
Somebody has to go to the bullpen and it won’t be Harvey. The Mets briefly placed him there, under his vociferous protests, and it didn’t work. That means one of the young starters will be deprived of starts, probably Sal Romano.
Harvey is happy because he constantly says he is happy in Cincinnati and doesn’t want to leave — at least for the rest of this season.
Then what? Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, is on record as saying they will test the free agent market after the season. Unless the Reds offer him arbitration and $17 million for 2019 and he accepts, which he won’t, they’ll lose him and get nothing for him when they could have received a little something in a trade.
Former Reds general manager Jim Bowden, now working for CBSsports, predicted two days ago that Harvey would not be traded and said, “The Reds’ phone is not ringing.” Bowden said many general managers remain leery of Harvey’s problems in New York, on and off the field.
Now the Reds feel they might still be able to trade him in August to a contender, but Harvey would have to pass through waivers and other teams could block any trade by claiming him, which would force the Reds to pull him back off waivers and keep him.
The Reds, of course, did make a trade Monday, sending outfielder Adam Duvall to Atlanta for outfielder Preston Tucker plus pitchers Matt Wisler and Lucas Sims. Tucker was added to the Reds 25-man roster while Wisler and Sims were both assigned to Class AAA Louisville.