Earlier tonight, reports indicated that a trade between the Rangers and Cubs involving Matt Garza was imminent, but it hit a “snag”. Although the two sides remain very close on the terms of a trade, it won’t be completed tonight, says Jeff Wilson.
Jeff Passan reported that the deal included prospects Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, and C.J. Edwards. Olt was rated the #22 overall prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com entering the 2013 season. The third baseman made his Major League debut on August 2 last year, but did not have much success in his first go-around in the Majors. With Triple-A Round Rock, the 24-year-old Olt has a .208/.311/.394 line in 257 trips to the plate.
Ramirez is a 24-year-old right-hander currently starting for Double-A Frisco. In 92 innings, he has a 3.33 ERA with 113 strikeouts. Edwards is a 21-year-old right-hander with Single-A Hickory of the South Atlantic League. In 93.1 innings, he has a 1.83 ERA with 122 strikeouts.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.
It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.
At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”
Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.