Anthony Dicommo of MLB.com reported earlier that the Mets are unlikely to add a starting pitcher this offseason.
This news comes just 3 days after the Mets tendered contracts for starting pitchers: Jacob DeGrom (obviously), Noah Syndergaard (OBVIOUSLY), Zack Wheeler (uhhh…), AND Matt Harvey (Jesus Christ).
I don’t even know where to begin. Zack Wheeler, I guess I understand. Maybe. Not really, but at least Zack gives a damn about the team. Matt Harvey does not. Matt Harvey has made it obvious on numerous occasions that all he cares about is Matt Harvey. It became even more evident this past season when he was suspended for 3 days for not showing up to the ballpark one Saturday. The story got even better when it was said that Harvey was out drinking the night before (staying out way past the curfew – possibly even until 4 in the morning), and then went golfing Saturday morning before he got a “migraine” and had to take a sick day. That was the final straw for me. Matt Harvey is not a team player. If you’re getting paid 5 million dollars, you show up to the ballpark. There’s no excuses. David Wright was at the ballpark whenever he could be, even after he had surgery. The man sat in the bullpen with a mirror to see what was going on behind him because he couldn’t turn his head. THAT is a team player. Syndergaard, Cespedes, all the other guys who were injured throughout the season could still be seen in the dugout most home games. THAT is what team players do. You do not “call out sick” because you have a migraine that was more than likely caused by his poor judgement and inability to limit his liquor intake. It wasn’t the first time Harvey’s violated club rules either. In 2015, during the PLAYOFFS Harvey missed a team mandated workout. It was pushed under the rug and blamed on traffic (even though it was reported he was out drinking the night before….see a pattern forming?), but that was probably done just to keep him in the rotation and avoid controversy. There have been other controversies surrounding Harvey. Wether it was him talking about wanting to “date women like Jeter did”, attending Jeter’s last home game, flipping off the camera from a hospital bed, refusing to speak to reporters out of spite, Harvey has been a drama magnet for the Mets. I won’t even get into the Game 5 fiasco either, because blaming only Matt wouldn’t exactly be fair.
So, those are the reasons that I personally don’t like Matt Harvey. I don’t think Matt Harvey cares about the Mets, I don’t think he cares about baseball, and I don’t think the Mets should have picked up his contract. He finished 2017 with a 5-7 record and a 6.70 ERA. The year before that he went 4 and 10 with a 4.86 ERA until he had season ending surgery in June to resolve a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome. It was a fall from grace for the once young upstart. Harvey had a promising debut year in 2012. Posting a 2.73 ERA over 10 starts. He followed it up in 2013 with an All Star year, going 9-5 over 26 starts and posting a 2.27 ERA. Missing 2014, he came back in 2015 and it looked like “The Dark Knight” was back, going 13 and 8, with a 2.71 ERA and winning “Comeback Player of the Year”. There’s no denying that the Harvey of present is nowhere near the same guy who New York fell in love with during his first few season with the team. Maybe it’s injuries, maybe it’s just mechanics, but I think Harvey has had enough chances and I think Sandy tendering his contract is a bad idea.
If Harvey didn’t have such a piss poor attitude, I wouldn’t have an issue with him sticking around. Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland are two guys who can help improve a pitcher’s performance, but they can’t fix the attitude of Matt Harvey and that’s my problem. Especially when there are some free agent starting pitchers on the market that the Mets could afford and utilize. CC Sabathia, Jaime Garcia, Jason Vargas and a list of others. There is so much potential on the free agent list right now and for Sandy to completely ignore that and stick with Harvey is what leads me to think that he is actually clueless.
The Mets can focus on a bullpen AND get a starting pitcher. But honestly, the bullpen started shaping up nicely towards the end of the season. Although, with the entire league really holding off on sending pitchers through the order a 3rd time, I understand that they want some more late inning arms to help bulk up the bullpen. But they have a lot of talent in there already. Paul Sewald was such a pleasant surprise out of the pen this season, Blevins is almost always effective, Ramos, Familia, Smoker, and not to mention the hard throwers the Mets received for Bruce, Granderson, Walker, Reed and Duda. To focus only on the bullpen and ignore the cracks in the starting rotation is foolish and is going to come back to bite Sandy in the ass in my completely honest opinion.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Callaway cracks down on Harvey and doesn’t coddle him the way Collins and Warthen did. But that remains to be seen. At the moment though, I’m starting to think Sandy Alderson is clueless and the miracle team he managed to get in 2013-2016 was pure luck. Prove us wrong Sandy.
** I realize I didn’t speak much about Wheeler or Matz, and that’s because I think Matz is going to be great as long as he stays healthy (which can hopefully happen without Ray Ramirez as the trainer) and Wheeler had some bright spots this season and he’s a guy who I think at least gives a damn about the team. So, I’m not too worried about them. Plus, Lugo and Gsellman are always suitable backups for those guys.