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Mets will tender Matt Harvey a contract for next season

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The club may target relievers, not starters, this offseason.

New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Mets plan to tender a contract to Matt Harvey for the 2018 season, according to John Heyman, who mentions that the front office is encouraged with Harvey’s recent velocity. That’s a positive sign for a player who has had both Tommy John surgery and surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

After putting up a sub-3.00 ERA in each of his first three seasons, Harvey has a 5.71 ERA over 181.1 innings over the past two seasons. The Connecticut native has seen his strikeout rate decrease in every season of his career. Sandy Alderson recently admitted that it was “highly unlikely” that the Mets would let Harvey walk after the 2017 season, while Mike Puma of the New York Post proposed that the Mets’ decision to retain Harvey is, in part, to avoid the possibility of the former ace regaining his form with another team. Basically, the Mets don’t want to see Harvey follow in Daniel Murphy’s footsteps and serve as a constant, embarrassing reminder of what could have been.

Harvey is arbitration-eligible for the 2018 season, after which he is scheduled to be a free agent. The 28-year-old earned $5.13 million this season, and Heyman predicts that he should not be in line for much of a raise for next season. He also notes that the Mets may target relievers this offseason, implying that they will look to improve the bullpen while keeping their 2017 starting rotation mostly intact. This mostly seems like speculation from Heyman, but it would be ironic, considering that the Mets’ starters themselves have been unable to remain intact this season.