Angels News: Former pitcher looking to join KBO
By Kyle Franzoni
Former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Matt Harvey is in talks to jump to the Korean Baseball Organization.
Could there be a Dark Knight sighting in the Korean Baseball Organization? If Matt Harvey and Scott Boras have their way, the bat signal could be moving from Gotham to South Korea.
While Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association continue to battle out their differences in the court of public opinion, team transactions remain frozen at the major league level. That leaves free agents like Harvey still looking for a job in 2020 and the possibilities dwindling. But leave it to the Boras Corporation to think outside the box and find opportunities where available.
According to the Seoul Broadcasting System (h/t Daniel Kim and Joel Sherman), Boras has representatives in South Korea and they have been in touch with KBO teams about the possibility of Harvey pitching there in 2020.
The KBO has been in action since May 5th, so Harvey would likely be an in-season addition. Given that all teams are allowed only two foreign players and the 10 teams currently have those slots filled, the right-hander would need to wait for a transaction to open up a slot. Still, a player with his pedigree and history would have appeal to the Korean fanbase and would bring some star power to the league.
At his best, Matt Harvey was a staff ace. From 2012 to 2017, we went 34-35 with a 3.51 ERA, a 3.34 FIP, and an 8.7 K/9 ratio. However, that window also included bouts of injuries, with Tommy John surgery, ineffectiveness, and maturity issues.
Of course, Matt Harvey is several years removed from being a productive pitcher. When we last saw him, as a member of the Angels, Harvey was an utter disappointment for Anaheim. Signed to a one-year, $11 million deal, Harvey would make 12 starts and throw 59.2 innings, during which he managed to surrender 47 earned runs (7.09 ERA), a 6.35 ERA, and had a minuscule 1.34 K/BB ratio. The fact that he gave up 13 home runs in those 59.2 innings didn’t do him any favors, and may also make him a tough sell in the hitter-friendly KBO.
That all said, Harvey has been working out and trying to get back to the form he showed during his magical years with the New York Mets. That includes a recent Instagram post showing his workouts, one the elicited a comment from Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez.
"Angels: How much better is Mike Trout than the rest of his draft class?"
A move to the KBO would allow him to competitively pitch while also building back his arsenal and mechanics to address his short-comings. It represents a risk for Matt Harvey, but one that may be the best path forward if he wishes to return to an MLB role in 2021. However, it could also prove the nail in the coffin if things go off the rails in South Korea, dooming the 31-year-old’s latest comeback bid.