LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — At what mile marker of a marathon are you ending it doesn’t matter what? Aches. Cramps. Heck, possibly even damaged bones.
Twenty miles? Twenty-two? Twenty-three?
That is the place the Mets are with Matt Harvey. They’ve come to this point and thru a lot with him that it is senseless to finish the marathon now. He’s a free agent after the 2018 season. I feel he might go 22-Zero with a 1.00 ERA and the Mets wouldn’t have him again.
However except they really feel he’s a very misplaced trigger, then why not end the marathon? And why would they’ve tendered him a contract for 2018 that may price about $6 million except that they had some hope?
The Mets have had greatness one time in Sandy Alderson’s time period, when Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard have been concurrently wholesome to gas a run to the NL title in 2015. Nothing adjustments a lot now. It doesn’t matter what the Mets do across the edges of the roster — like coming to settlement Wednesday with reliever Anthony Swarzak — they’ll once more be beholden to how a lot expertise and well being they’ll get from their rotation.
The surest issues — a time period you hate to make use of on the subject of the Mets and, particularly, pitching — are deGrom and Syndergaard. Harvey is a part of the wild-card group that may decide if the Mets are ok to play for even, properly, the wild card.
“The stuff continues to be there,” new pitching coach Dave Eiland stated. “Well being goes to be the important thing. If he stays wholesome, then he’s a strong a part of the rotation.”
A strong a part of the rotation is a step or three down from the subsequent Tom Seaver, however the place do the Mets join that?
The Mets have this going for them: If Harvey is just not going to offer them his greatest form and conduct now, then when? He’s coming into his stroll 12 months and already has crushed the possibilities of a $200 million free-agent payday with questionable well being, poor outcomes and a doubtful off-the-field life.
Nothing he does in 2018 will make the entire worries go away. Nevertheless it positive might help. As logical as the game has turn into, there stays a recency bias that fuels spending. Mike Minor signed a three-year, $28 million cope with the Rangers regardless of lacking all of 2015-16. Brandon Morrow signed a two-year, $21 million pact with the Cubs regardless of having an injury-stained profession. Tommy Hunter inked a two-year, $18 million contract, although simply two years in the past he failed a Yankees bodily.
Minor, Morrow and Hunter all have been actual good in 2017, nevertheless, and that made among the problematic previous soften away.
Harvey can do the identical right here, if there’s nonetheless sufficient expertise and self-discipline inside him. And the Mets have endured sufficient insults and accidents from Harvey of their partnership to not see what continues to be there for a righty who doesn’t flip 29 till March.
“I noticed the stuff,” Eiland stated of movie work he has completed on Harvey. “I noticed what it seemed like crossing the plate. I noticed the supply. I noticed how the arm was working. It seemed like he simply was just a little bit misplaced together with his confidence. Lots of occasions offseasons can treatment that. [New manager] Mickey [Callaway] and I each are excited to work with him and see the place it goes. We each be ok with him.”
We are going to see if the nice vibes final. However the Mets have come too far within the Harvey marathon to not discover out.
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