Chicago Cubs: Three free agent starting pitching options in wake of Quintana injury

Jose Quintana / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Jose Quintana / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Matt Harvey is one option

I know what you’re immediately thinking: Why would the Cubs bring in Matt Harvey? Well, in his heyday, Harvey was one of the most dominant pitchers in the National League. From 2012-15, the right-hander carried a 2.53 ERA across 427 innings for the New York Mets. The veteran hutler posted a 2.65 FIP and 3.02 xFIP, respectively, working to a 21 percent K-BB rate.

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Unfortunately, Harvey suffered an elbow injury in the summer of 2013 and was never quite the same pitcher. He did have an excellent 2015 season where he pitched to a 2.71 ERA over 29 starts, but things went downhill from there on out.

In each of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Harvey failed to reach 100 innings. The Mets traded him to Cincinnati midway through 2018, where he held his own with a 4.50 ERA over 128 innings. The following offseason Harvey inked a one-year/$11 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. It did not go well as the former All-Star couldn’t entirely rebound to a respectable level, and the Angels eventually cut ties.

It’s clear that Tom Ricketts isn’t about spending money and doesn’t believe in the profitability of the game. Harvey is only 31 years old, which is on the much younger side in the grand scheme of the available free agents.

He put together two quality back-to-back starts versus the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals last season and a couple more decent enough outings. To bring Harvey in on a minor-league contract for depth would be a low-risk move and one the Cubs could afford.