By Joe Pantorno
There are rumors swirling that the Dark Knight could be making his way back to Queens.
WFAN radio host Boomer Esiason reported on his morning radio show Monday that former New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey reached out to the club about a possible reunion.
The Mets apparently “would consider” the option.
Harvey was once the organization’s most promising pitching prospect turned star-in-the-making before a swift fall from grace led to his exile from the organization.
Making his Mets debut in 2012 as a 23-year-old, Harvey catapulted to superstar status in just two years — posting a 2.39 ERA with 261 strikeouts in a combined 237.2 innings of work.
That included a start for the National League All-Star squad at the 2013 Midsummer Classic, which just so happened to be hosted at Citi Field that year.
But injuries quickly derailed Harvey’s rise in Major League Baseball.
His 2013 campaign was cut short when it was discovered that he needed Tommy John surgery.
He’d return in 2015 to help the Mets win the National League pennant, going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA. But that came with plenty of drama as Harvey and his agent, Scott Boras, implored the Mets to adhere to a strick 180-inning limit on the season — a notion that was disbanded as the Mets advanced into the postseason.
The following year, Harvey’s stuff was noticeably down as questions of mechanical issues arose. In July, shoulder pain and numbness in his fingers was attributed to thoracic outlet syndrome, which needed season-ending surgery.
Such a procedure usually spells the end for a pitcher at the major-league level, but Harvey found a way to return in 2017, though he basically had to relearn how to pitch again.
While he struggled mightily with a 6.70 ERA that season, off-the-field distractions didn’t help his cause as his relationship with the organization continued to deteriorate. He was suspended for three games without pay for partying too hard on Cinco de Mayo, causing him to report to the stadium late the following day.
His struggles continued well into 2018 which ultimately led to his departure from the organization.
In eight games — which included a demotion to the bullpen — Harvey had a 7.00 ERA, prompting the Mets to try and send him down to the minors. Harvey refused, leading former GM Sandy Alderson to trade him to the Cincinnati Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco.
A change of scenery did little to help revitalize Harvey’s career. He went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA with the Reds to finish out the 2018 season before signing with the Los Angeles Angels last season, where he went 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA.
Without a team for the potential 2020 season, Harvey was also reportedly interested in heading over to South Korea to play in the KBO, according to Newsday.
The Mets could use Harvey as a depth piece in their rotation after losing Noah Syndergaard for the year after he underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this spring.
In his absence, the Mets will be forced to use both Michael Wacha and Steven Matz to round out the bottom of the rotation when the original plan for the inconsistent starters was to compete for the No. 5 role.
Harvey would at least add another arm to the equation if Matz and Wacha, alongside No. 3 Rick Porcello who had a career-worst season in 2019, fail to keep the rotation afloat.