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Trade waiver season is in full swing — Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams were joined different teams earlier this week — and it appeared Reds righty Matt Harvey would be the next player on the move. That is no longer the case.

According to multiple reports, the Brewers claimed Harvey on trade waivers this week, and the two sides had until 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday to work out a trade. The Brewers and Reds did not work out a trade, however, and Harvey will remain with Cincinnati.

Harvey is scheduled to pitch at 2:20 p.m. ET against the Cubs, so Cincinnati would have had to come up with a spot starter had he been traded. There is no chance that interfered with trade talks, however. The Reds would’ve made a trade if they got an offer they liked, and figured out what to do with Friday’s game later.

Here’s a quick primer on trade waivers. Once he was been claimed, the Reds had three options with Harvey.

  1. Trade him to the Brewers. Players claimed on trade waivers can only be traded to the claiming team.
  2. Let him go on waivers. A salary dump, effectively. The Reds would’ve saved about $1.1 million in salary.
  3. Pull him back and keep him. Exactly what happened.

It should be noted the Reds could place Harvey on trade waivers again, though they are irrevocable the second time around. If any team were to claim Harvey, they would get him. The Reds would not be able to pull him back. Very rarely does a player go through trade waivers twice in one season, though it does happen on occasion.

Overall this season the 29-year-old Harvey owns a 4.91 ERA (82 ERA+) with 89 strikeouts in 117 1/3 innings. He has been much better with the Reds than he was with the Mets, pitching to a 4.28 ERA (96 ERA+) with 69 strikeouts in 90 1/3 innings since landing in Cincinnati. Harvey has done an admirable job reinventing himself as a pitch-to-contact guy, at least to some degree.

The Brewers have been trying to upgrade their rotation pretty much all season, but have come up empty. The team’s rotation depth chart looks something like this at the moment:

  1. Chase Anderson
  2. Jimmy Nelson (rehabbing from shoulder surgery)
  3. Zach Davies (sent to Triple-A after dealing with a back injury)
  4. Jhoulys Chacin
  5. Junior Guerra
  6. Brent Suter (out with Tommy John surgery)
  7. Wade Miley
  8. Freddy Peralta

Harvey is no longer the impact pitcher he was in his prime — that means he wouldn’t have cost much to acquire in a trade — but he would’ve given the Brewers an extra layer of depth, and that would’ve be worthwhile with Anderson struggling a bit (5.23 ERA in August) and Peralta being a 22-year-old rookie who has already set a new career-high in innings pitched. Besides, there’s no such thing as too much pitching depth.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets

The Brewers have until Friday afternoon to complete a trade for Matt Harvey.
USATSI

It is worth noting that, had the Brewers acquired Harvey on Friday, he would’ve been eligible for their postseason roster. A player must be in the organization by 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 31 to be postseason eligible. That is a hard deadline with no loopholes. Harvey’s waivers expired well before the deadline. He would have been be available to pitch in October had he been dealt to Milwaukee.

The Brewers come in to Friday with a 71-58 record. They are 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central and in a virtual tie with the Cardinals, Rockies, and Phillies for the two wild card spots.

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