Jay Bruce defends Matt Harvey over refusing minor league assignment
The New York Mets have a week to either trade or release Matt Harvey after the right-hander refused a minor league assignment, and at least one of his teammates says he would have done the exact same thing.
Veteran outfielder Jay Bruce, who has played with Harvey for parts of the past three seasons, said Harvey has earned the right to decline being sent to the minors.
“I could not imagine him accepting an assignment. You pitch and play long enough, and you’ve earned the right to refuse an assignment,” Bruce said, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. “I don’t know of many guys in his shoes who would have accepted it. I feel like he thinks he can have a chance somewhere else to kind of get a fresh start and a clean slate, and he’s probably looking forward to that.”
Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, said Friday that the 29-year-old is looking forward to joining a new team where he can go back to being a starting pitcher. Bruce said he wishes Harvey the best and believes the pitcher being designated for assignment has garnered more attention because of the New York market.
“Matt’s had a lot of ups and downs here — some of the highest ups and the lowest downs. I just wish him the best, I really do,” Bruce added. “This happens to a lot of people. It’s just a little more of a bombshell in New York because of the history and the circumstances here. You see it all the time, where guys get a new start and they thrive.”
Of course, Harvey has made some off-field headlines that a lot of other players who play in The Big Apple have avoided. He created a lot of unnecessary drama for himself, but ultimately the injury to his pitching arm was his biggest downfall. Joining a new team may give Harvey renewed enthusiasm, but there’s no guarantee his velocity will ever be back.