The Mets' decision to designate Matt Harvey for assignment sent shockwaves through the baseball world, as the pitcher that started for the National League in the 2013 All-Star Game now finds himself -- and his career -- in limbo.
The Mets have a week to trade Harvey or he'll become a free agent, and given his $5.625 million salary, any trade would likely have to include the Mets paying down some of his contract.
If no trade is reached before the end of the seven-day period, Harvey will become a free agent and be able to sign with any of the other 29 teams, with his new team paying only the league minimum while the Mets pay the remainder of his salary.
• Mets cutting ties with former ace Harvey
So which team will take a chance that Harvey can revert to his old form?
"A team that is scrambling to cover innings would be my guess," one general manager said.
Harvey has still "flashed stuff at times," the GM said, which should be enough for a team to give the 29-year-old a shot. So where might he wind up? Here are five candidates:
Jordan Montgomery could be out as long as two months with his left elbow strain, and while Domingo German might be an adequate fill-in, the idea of Harvey taking his act across town to the Bronx is too juicy to ignore. There's nothing Harvey would love more than to prove the Mets wrong by thriving with the Yankees -- and there's nothing the New York media would love more than the ex-Met and tabloid staple remaining in the Big Apple. Doc and Darryl did it; why not the Dark Knight?
Madison Bumgarner isn't due back for at least another month, while Johnny Cueto is back on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. Following its disastrous 2017 season, San Francisco has gotten off to a decent start, leaving them in the mix in both the NL West and Wild Card races. Bruce Bochy was the skipper who tabbed Harvey for that All-Star Game start; could he now hand him the ball every five days?
With Robbie Ray on the DL with an oblique strain and Taijuan Walker out for the season following Tommy John surgery, the D-backs could take a shot on Harvey to help fill a void in the rotation. Arizona has Shelby Miller rehabbing from his own elbow surgery, and while he's not due back until mid-summer, his eventual return would be a safety net if Harvey isn't able to turn things around.
Rangers assistant pitching coach Dan Warthen was Harvey's pitching coach with the Mets from 2012-17, and the two have maintained a close relationship even after Warthen left the Mets this past offseason. Texas rolled the dice with Timothy Lincecum in February, so GM Jon Daniels has shown the willingness to be aggressive when it comes to reclamation projects. With Martin Perez on the DL thanks to elbow issues, Harvey could fill the void at the end of the rotation.
Chicago's rotation is averaging only 5 1/3 innings per start, fewer than all but four teams in the Majors. Miguel Gonzalez has been out since mid-April with right rotator cuff inflammation, and although a 9-20 record has the White Sox facing a big deficit in the American League Central, they could give Harvey a chance to get back on track, then try to move him to a contender before the non-waiver Trade Deadline if he's able to recapture his old form.