Mack Ade - Matt Harvey


Good morning.

Writing an article on the future of Matt Harvey as a Met would be so different at different times in his short Mets career.

A 2010 article written after the Mets drafted him as the 10th player overall in the draft would be all hype and excitement. A 2011 one after a debut Mets season of 10-starts, 2.73, 1.15, and 70-Ks in 59.1 innings would just grow the excitement. Then, anything written in 2014 would be dominated with speculation after his TJS.

But a 2015 article (13-8, 2.71, 1.02, 189.1-IP, 188-K) would feature a headline that he was back and good times had returned.

And then came 2016. Just a crap season. 17-starts, an embarrassing 4.86-ERA, and only 76 strikeouts in 92.2 innings pitched, ending with another season ending injury and surgery.

Now, what once was speculated as the future top pitcher in baseball, was considered damaged goods as he goes into his second arbitration year. 

He’s scheduled to become a free agent in 2019 and, unless he returns to some kind of dominance in 2017, I just don’t see any trade value here.

Now, what once was speculated as the future top pitcher in baseball, was considered damaged goods as he goes into his second arbitration year. He’s scheduled to become a free agent in 2019 and, unless he returns to some kind of dominance in 2017, I just don’t see any trade value here.

Gone is Harvey Days. Gone is The Dark Knight. And gone is his anchor spot as the SP1 on the team. Now he’s fighting out for SP3 with Steven Matz and could even fall further if Zack Wheeler returned strong or Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo had a repeat of their surprising 2016 season.

My speculation on Harvey is simple. His lack of success in 2017 would jeopardize an arbitration offer by the Mets in the 2017-2018 off-season and could lead to him being DFA’s… while a successful year would only strengthen his chances to be traded off before he hits free agency. Either way, there’s not much chance here for a future as a New York Met.

Have we seen the best of Matt Harvey?

Tom Brennan of Macks Mets writes :

“While it is initially reassuring that Matt Harvey and his agent Scott Boras have recently and comfortingly commented positively about Harvey’s post-surgical recovery and current health, the success of a superior major league starter hinges largely on 3 things: command, velocity, and durability.  Harvey had those in abundance back in 2013 when he was electrifying the baseball world.”

“His command should be much improved over 2016, now that the surgery has restored full feeling in his pitching hand and shoulder, but if that great command is coupled with a drop in velocity due to the surgery, it would reduce Harvey’s effectiveness, perhaps significantly.  His velocity will become evident in the months to come.

“And even if Harvey has great command AND velocity early on in 2017, he faces the hurdle of also being full-season-durable.   Time will tell, and we can only hope the true Dark Knight returns, although considering the surgeries of Harvey, Wheeler, Matz and deGrom, and availability of Gsellman and Lugo, a 6 man rotation for the Mets may well be both wise and necessary for everyone’s durability, right into October baseball.  For now, until he pitches in anger, we’ll be in the Dark as to the Knight’s current ceiling.”

        Gary McDonald, of www.Metsmusings.com  fame added -

2017 will be a very important year for Matt Harvey. He is inching closer to free agancy and needs to come thru with a big year.

He needs to prove three things this year:

1) He can stay healthy - two major injuries in four years has really set him back.

2) Needs to return to the dominance he showed glimpses of in 2013 and 2015. Dominating batters with his fastball and curve.

3) See 1

Harvey will be looking for a big contract in another year or so, but frankly he doesn't have the numbers to warrant it. He needs to start compiling numbers fast to reinstate himself among the league’s elite pitchers. I expect the Mets to bring him along slowly in Spring Training . It will be interesting to see if Harvey's agent gets involved. The soap opera continues.

This game has changed so much over the years and you just don’t have that much time anymore to succeed with the team that drafted you into professional baseball. You draft them out of high school, they’re too risky. You draft them out of college, they’re already too old. You rush them through the pipeline, they break down or fall apart. You shelve them after a season ending injury and they lose precious ground. They make it to arbitration, they become too expensive to keep around. And when they hit free agency, they’re simply too expensive to re-sign.

I truly believe that there will be very little success left for this guy as a Met. He could fail and fade away, or success and be traded. Either way, I don't see a long term future for him in Mets blue.


Unknown said...

I totally agree. I don't think there's been an article written that said we were ever going to sign him and with that in mind his trade should have been right after the WS. The Dickey trade was the shining example but rarely do GM's really do that and coming off a WS appearance it's even harder to do but knowing as we have that's he's gone when he becomes a FA that was the time to strike. I don't think ANY pitcher should get a long term contract as most are disaster's for the team so in my mind 2 years before FA find the best deal and make it. That way through the draft and acquiring top prospects you keep the line moving. The days of holding on to your top players long term is long gone and the fans will get over it if they haven't already. Does anyone think for example the Stanton deal and the upcoming Harper deal will really pay off and not handcuff their clubs long term? We all know SA didn't want to sign Wright to that contract and let that be our recent example.

Tom Brennan said...

You love your hot rod, but sometimes they break down a lot. Let's hope this edition of Harvey is durable.

eraff said...

Consider the possibility that Harvey makes 10-20 nices starts...the Mets offer the security of a relatively rich extension In-Season..... He signs it, acknowledging "bird in Hand/Injury in the Bush"

Eddie Corona said...

Man this was my Guy... He was everything NY ... tough, good looking, smooth and knew it too...
No I don't expect him to be in Orange and Blue much longer...
Dam Sandy and his troop of genius's... He acts like the smartest man in the room... If he would have traded Harvey after the WS he would have commanded a Chris Sales /Shelby Miller type deal... And while I would have been against it, it would have been a sell High type deal in a position of depth...

Zozo said...

I couldn't agree with you more

Mack Ade said...

Guys -


I have been writing this series of articles with quotes from two other Mets writers, bloggers, etc.

Do you like the format?

Eddie Corona said...

I do... anything that makes you spark conversation or debate makes for good topics until the games are played...

Hobie said...

Agree with Eddie C. (both in sparking conversation & oulda/shoulda... )

Now best of all worlds: Matt has a bulldog CY year and post-season... then traded for gaggle of prospects? Or sign big $$ extension?

Let me make the decision harder: Thor has arm troubles & current prospects/young vets Conforto, Nimmo, Smith, Rosario rake.

Reese Kaplan said...

Yes, any time you can support your arguments or provide contrasting points of view it makes what you say more relevant.

That Adam Smith said...

Hi Mack. Yes, I like the format. It pulls together a broader conversation of informed opinion. Also, like that you are writing more often in general.

As to Harvey, i'be always felt that they would deal him either this offseason or next, though of course theninjusty situation has derailed all plans to this point. I actually think that his chances of still being here next year are greater now than ever, particularly if he has a so-so comeback season keeping his trade value low, but his chances of improvement in '18 high. In any case, with so many variables, all we can really do is hope he is a strong contributor this year and go from there.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't help his chances to be a Met long term that his agent is Scott Boras.

Reese Kaplan said...

Off topic, but today the Mets released Christian Montgomery, a 23 year old reliever who posted credible numbers last year -- 3.34 ERA and 13.7 K/9 IP. He has been suspended for recreational drug use and was on the "Restricted" list part of the year, so it makes you wonder if perhaps he discovered better living through chemistry as his minor league stats prior to 2016 were awful.

eraff said...

It's the Third suspension for Montgomery. 23 year old with a long grind ahead---he went from asset to liability, so they cut him

Unknown said...

Mack FWIW I love the new format

Mack Ade said...

Gary -


Mack Ade said...

Reese/Eraff -

Montgomery was a tremendous talent out of high school that simply loved getting high more than getting batters out.

I was thrilled the Mets took a chance on him but it has turned out to be a waste of time.

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