The Kansas City Royals, in need of pitching depth with two of their starters still getting up to speed because of COVID-19 infections, reportedly are close to a deal with veteran right-hander Matt Harvey.
Multiple outlets reported Thursday that the club and Harvey are closing in on a minor league deal that likely would see Harvey start at Kansas City’s alternate training site at T-Bones Stadium in Kansas City, Kan. The Kansas City T-Bones are an independent team, not affiliated with any major league club.
Though the Royals open the season Friday at Cleveland, right-handed starters Brad Keller and Jakob Junis have yet to get up to speed after COVID-19 diagnoses earlier this offseason. Junis (31) and Keller (28) were the only Royals starters to make more than 23 starts last season.
Against the Indians, the Royals are expected to start lefty Danny Duffy (7-6, 4.34 ERA in 2019) and righty Brady Singer on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Singer, 23, is the top-rated pitching prospect in Kansas City’s system and would be making his major league debut.
Since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2013, Harvey has struggled to recapture the dominance he displayed in the beginning of his career. Harvey, now 31, went 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA in a dozen starts with the Los Angeles Angels last season — his fourth straight season with a losing record.
Though he did go 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 2015 in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, he is 19-31 with a 5.65 ERA since.
Harvey most recently spent time with the Oakland organization. The Athletics granted him free agency in November, less than three months after signing him and before he appeared in a major league game for the club.
Harvey and the Royals do have a history. He started Game 5 of the 2015 World Series for the Mets vs. Kansas City, going eight-plus innings but surrendering the tying runs in the ninth. The Royals wound up winning the game 7-2 in 12 innings to capture the championship.
Harvey also received a no-decision after allowing three runs in six innings during the series opener, a 5-4 Royals victory in 14 innings.
–Field Level Media