One of the big keys to the New York Mets’ disappointing season was another poor campaign from Matt Harvey. Harvey got off to a good start but fell apart quickly, going 4-3 with a 5.25 ERA before landing on the disabled list in mid-June with a scapula injury in his right shoulder. While the Mets have let Harvey take his time working his way back, and he is close to beginning a rehab assignment, other teams have been in contact with the Mets looking at a buy low opportunity. Newsday’s Marc Carig notes that the Mets did field calls on Harvey but showed no interest in moving him, preferring to let him work his way back from injury to help them next season.
This makes perfect sense for the Mets, who have no interest in moving Harvey when his value is at an all time low. Two bad seasons have effectively obliterated Harvey’s stock, putting him at a crossroads with free agency looming after the 2018 season. Although it appears that there is not going to be a long term marriage between Harvey and the Mets, the team has every incentive to let Harvey come back and pitch for them next season. Harvey is feeling great and looks fitter after rehabbing his current injury, Fred Kerber of the New York Post reports, leading to reason for hope he can recapture his old form going forward.
The best case scenario for the Mets is that Harvey comes back and pitches like the old Harvey, re-establishing his value and helping the Mets win games in the process. Harvey would then fetch more in a trade, which the Mets could pursue if 2018 is a down year, or finish out the season strong and help them get back to the postseason. At that point, the Mets could extend Harvey a qualifying offer to recoup a draft pick if he leaves in free agency, which would be a likely outcome in that scenario. Both sides need each other, and it makes sense for them to stick it out for another year rather than cut the cord for less value than the qualifying offer would entail. While the Mets haven’t gotten lucky in spots like this recently, they have to hope that Harvey bucks the trend and gives them a strong walk year performance.