Former MLB Mets pitcher Matt Harvey retires: What legacy does he leave?

Former starting pitcher Matt Harvey is retiring from baseball, he announced on social media Friday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Harvey, 34, played more than five seasons for the Mets after being selected by New York 7th overall in the 2010 draft.
  • He also played for the Reds, Angels, Royals and Orioles, averaging 4.42 ERA in 180 career games.
  • In 2013, he posted a best 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts in 26 starts with the Mets, and was named All-Star that season.

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What did Harvey mean to the Mets?

By the end of his time in Queens, Harvey’s stats with the Mets had become commonplace. He pitched fewer innings for them than Dillon Gee. His adjusted ERA was the same as Masato Yoshii’s. You haven’t seen many of these pitchers’ jerseys in the ballpark.

But Harvey’s 33 filled the stands because of what he meant to the Mets when he arrived in the big leagues. For a franchise that had been stumbling aimlessly for nearly four seasons, Harvey’s debut in the desert one night in late July 2012 felt like godsend. The Mets may not have had much, but now they had Harvey Day.

Fans have fully embraced. They chanted “Harvey’s better” at Stephen Strasburg, they saw him flirt with perfection despite a bloody nose, they cheered him on as he started Citi Field’s first All-Star Game. His 2013 campaign was one of the most memorable by a starter in franchise history, even though it ended in surgery.

When he returned in 2015, it was with Jacob deGrom by his side and Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz eventually joining them. This rotation propelled the Mets from mediocrity to a pennant with breathtaking speed, Harvey in the middle of it all. This is Citi Field’s 15th season; perhaps the strongest of all time was when Harvey came out of the dugout for the ninth inning of Game 5 of this World Series.

With Harvey, however, there is always an “alas.” That night was in the middle of the Royals lineup spoiling a masterpiece. Then it was a rough start in 2016 and thoracic outlet syndrome, then off-field drama that exacerbated the lack of on-field production until Harvey was unceremoniously singled out for assignment in 2018, shipped to Cincinnati.

In the Mets’ long history, few players have walked the typical Met arc with as much ecstasy as Harvey — from promise to accomplishment, to frustration and disappointment. He and the fan base got a measure of closure in 2021, when he made his last start in Queens as the Baltimore Oriole.


Harvey appeared in the minors last season after closing his MLB career with the Orioles in 2021. He had a 6.27 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 28 starts that season.

In May 2022, MLB announced it was suspending Harvey for 60 games for distributing an illegal drug, a violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Harvey testified in the Texas case against former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay over the death of former Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Harvey, who agreed to testify in exchange for immunity, admitted providing Skaggs with Percocet pills found in his possession on the day of his death. Kay was found guilty on two counts.

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(Picture: Scott Cunningham/Getty)

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