Brewers don't complete deal for Harvey
Milwaukee had claimed right-hander on waivers
MILWAUKEE -- Matt Harvey stayed put Friday after the Reds and Brewers couldn't work out a trade for the Cincinnati right-hander.
The Brewers were the team that claimed Harvey on revocable trade waivers this week and had until 12:30 p.m. CT to work out a trade with the Reds, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported. When those talks fizzled, Harvey made his start as scheduled against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
"We couldn't come to an agreement that made sense for us," Reds general manager Nick Krall said in a conference call with reporters. "We felt that it made more sense to keep him and gain positive momentum for our club for the end of this season and heading into next season, and he's been a positive influence on that club, so that was our decision-making process."
• Trade Talk
That came as something of a surprise, since Harvey can be a free agent at season's end, and the Reds now risk getting nothing for a player they acquired from the Mets earlier this season for catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash.
After the Brewers made the claim, the Reds had three choices: work out a trade, let Harvey and the roughly $1.1 million left on his contract go to the Brewers or pull Harvey back. They chose the third option.
Without commenting specifically about Harvey, Brewers GM David Stearns said, "I think we have a lot of discussions that are ongoing at all times of year, and most of them don't work out. Most of the interactions with other teams don't lead to deals."
The Brewers reportedly showed interest in Harvey in July, when Milwaukee landed a late-inning reliever (Joakim Soria from the White Sox) and two infielders (Mike Moustakas from the Royals and Jonathan Schoop from the Orioles) but did not get a starting pitcher. It wasn't for lack of trying, said Stearns, who indicated he was close to acquiring a starter, only to see the deal fall apart.
It marked the second straight year that Stearns tried to trade for a starting pitcher and couldn't find a match. He had talks with the White Sox for Jose Quintana and with the A's for Sonny Gray before those players were dealt to the Cubs and Yankees instead.
Stearns said he remained confident in the way he values pitching.
"On different players, we're going to use different ways to value them," Stearns said. "Like I've said, we have confidence in our starting staff and our pitching staff. They've pitched competitively through the vast majority of this season, and we think they will continue to do so."
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said he was kept in the loop by Stearns, but said he was somewhat surprised that details were publicized.
"I think this is just a possible transaction that was made public, which they rarely are," Counsell said. "I think this happens more frequently than we all think. It was just out there."
Milwaukee's starters are 19th in the Major Leagues with a 4.63 ERA since the start of August, but that figure has come down over the past week, with the group combining for a 2.05 ERA over Milwaukee's last six games including rookie Freddy Peralta's seven scoreless innings against Cincinnati on Wednesday afternoon.
Brewers reinstate Soria, option Knebel and Davies
After it was clear they wouldn't land Harvey, the Brewers officially optioned slumping former closer Corey Knebel to Triple-A Colorado Springs and activated Soria from the 10-day disabled list. Soria had been sidelined since suffering a groin injury on Aug. 9 against the Padres while working in hasty relief of Knebel.
The Brewers also optioned right-hander Zach Davies to Class A Wisconsin as Davies' Minor League rehab assignment for back tightness came to an end. That was an indication they did not think Davies was quite ready to rejoin the Major League starting rotation.
Knebel and Davies will both be eligible to join the Major League team on Sept. 2.
"Our anticipation is that Zach will make starts for us in September," Stearns said.
As for Knebel, who has a 5.08 ERA this season, Stearns said, "In the case of Corey, this isn't really a demotion, it's a break. Allow him some time to really work on some things in bullpen sessions. It's really tough for active relief pitchers at the Major League level to do that during the normal course of a season because they need to pitch in games every single night."
Counsell said the hope is that Knebel will get squared away for the stretch run.
"We don't have a lot of time left to make adjustments, so it's difficult," Counsell said. "We thought the best chance for us to get Corey throwing the ball well again is to give him this break, give him some time to work, and then see what we've got and go after it in September."
Minor League pitcher suspended
Franklin Hernandez has received a 76-game suspension without pay after testing positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The 22-year-old right-hander was taken in the 37th round of the 2018 Draft and pitched in five games in the Rookie-level Arizona League, posting a 2.53 ERA before being promoted on July 26 to Helena, where he allowed two runs over 2 2/3 innings.