The Mets are looking to add a second baseman, an outfielder, and a relief pitcher without spending too much money this offseason, and one way to do that is through the trade market. According to The Daily News, one of the players being shopped by New York is Matt Harvey, and the front office has already talked to two other teams about a potential deal.
“They are willing to move him,” one source said, “and they said they wanted to try and flip him for a reliever. They seemed more willing to move him then (Robert) Gsellman or (Seth) Lugo.”
FanRag’s Jon Heyman says that the Orioles could be one of the interested parties.
If you take Harvey’s 2016 campaign by itself, it makes sense why the Mets want to be rid of him. He posted a 6.70 ERA in 92.2 innings with 67 strikeouts and 47 walks. Plus, the North Carolina product missed more than two months due to a shoulder injury. That’s not a very appealing sample of work, but just two years ago Harvey was an untouchable member of New York’s pennant-winning pitching staff.
With a 2.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 189.1 innings, Harvey was nearly as good in 2015 as he was in his breakout season of 2013, but a lot has changed since then. Injuries and depleted velocity have sunk the former ace’s stock considerably, and his squabbles with management have made it highly unlikely that he’ll stick in Queens beyond the 2017 campaign, after which he becomes a free agent.
Even if the Mets bet on Harvey and keep him for the next 10 months, he’d probably be gone next offseason. A trade is a good way for New York to take advantage of his remaining upside while making the team stronger in other areas. However, the backlash from such a move could be strong considering Harvey’s enduring popularity with the fan base. Plus, selling when a player’s stock is low is never a good way to extract the best return.