Matt Harvey
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Angels designate Matt Harvey for assignment

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The Angels have designated right-hander Matt Harvey for assignment, per an official announcement on Friday. It’s a predictable end to a rough campaign for the starter, who signed a one-year, $11 million deal with the club last December and has delivered a career-worst 7.09 ERA and -0.3 fWAR through the first half of the 2019 season.

Part of Harvey’s struggles can be traced back to the upper back strain he sustained in late May, an injury that kept him on the shelf for seven weeks and hampered his effectiveness when he was finally activated from the IL in July. Since his return, he’s gone 1-1 in two starts, allowing a cumulative seven runs, eight walks, and four strikeouts across 11 2/3 innings. Following his most recent start, a 6-2 loss to the Astros on Thursday, Harvey chalked up his struggles to “a couple bad pitches, a couple stupid pitches I made, thinking I can still throw it by people” and admitted that if he had pitched a little smarter, he would’ve left the Angels in a more advantageous position against their division rivals.

While he’s undoubtedly due for a tune-up on his mechanics, he won’t get that chance in Anaheim. Still, there’s undoubtedly a minor league contract with his name on it somewhere, assuming he passes through waivers unclaimed.

In subsequent roster moves, the Angels also optioned right-hander Jake Jewell to Triple-A Salt Lake and recalled righty Jaime Barria and lefty/first baseman Jared Walsh. Right-handed reliever Keynan Middleton was diagnosed with mild ulnar neuritis in his elbow and will continue to spend his recovery on the injured list.

Sunday, 2:07 PM EDT: The Angels have released Matt Harvey.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).