Matt Harvey, the Mets’ ‘Dark Knight,’ retires at 34

Getty Images

NEW YORK – Matt Harvey announced Friday he’s retiring from baseball after a nine-year pitching career highlighted by his time as the Mets’ “Dark Knight.”

Harvey, whose star faded amid injuries and a late-career suspension for drug distribution, thanked fans for making “a dream come true” in his Instagram post announcing his retirement.

Nicknamed the “Dark Knight of Gotham,” Harvey was selected seventh overall by the Mets in the 2010 amateur draft and made a heralded major league debut in 2012. He started the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field, but a little more than a month later tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow and needed Tommy John surgery.

He returned in 2015 and went 13-8, helping the Mets reach the World Series, where they lost to the Kansas City Royals.

“I pitched to win,” Harvey wrote in his post. “To fire up my team and more importantly, to fire up the fans in a city that I’ve always loved.”

He was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in May 2018, pitched for the Los Angeles Angels in 2019, the Royals in 2020 and the Baltimore Orioles in 2021. Health woes, including thoracic outlet syndrome, contributed to Harvey failing to recapture his early career magic.

Harvey, 34, acknowledged in his post that “with all the amazing memories came a lot of injuries and tough times.”

Last year, Harvey testified at the trial of a former Los Angeles Angels employee who was later convicted of providing pitcher Tyler Skaggs the drugs that led to his overdose death in July 2019.

Harvey was one of four players who admitted to receiving oxycodone pills from the ex-employee, Eric Kay, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison in October 2022.

Harvey, who said at trial he believed his testimony would threaten his career, also told the court he and teammates had given and provided drugs to each other.

Major League Baseball suspended Harvey for 60 games in 2022 for distributing a prohibited drug of abuse, and he never made it back to the majors.

He has a 50-66 career record with a 4.42 ERA in nine major league seasons. He pitched for Team Italy at this year’s World Baseball Classic, where he allowed a run and four hits in seven innings over two starts.

“There is nothing I love more than getting out of a tough situation in the 7th or 8th inning,” Harvey wrote, “to finally let the emotions out, knowing I did absolutely everything I could to help my team win, and to give a powerful fist bump and a scream!”

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”