New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey isn’t in unfamiliar territory at the moment. The 28-year-old right-hander who once was the future of the team’s pitching staff is recovering from a shoulder injury that has held him out since mid-June.
If all goes well, he could return to the mound by the end of August where he could basically be going through a tryout.
Not for his place within the Mets rotation that is stacked when healthy, but for another team.
Now that is unfamiliar territory.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reported that teams around the league called the Mets to inquire about the injured Harvey, who is 4-3 with a 5.25 ERA in 13 starts this season.
While the Mets weren’t interested, it’s understandable why teams were calling. Harvey suffered his third major injury in the last four seasons, hampering his progress toward All-Star-caliber ace. When he is healthy, his actions off the field have gotten him into some trouble, including a three-game suspension this year for partying a little too hard on Cinco de Mayo.
The Mets could have been looking to sell him off before he hits free agency after the 2018 season, which could have offered potential suitors an opportunity to acquire him at a much lower price than expected.
But New York looks to have a different idea.
Carig added that the Mets are probably going to keep Harvey through the winter “in hopes” that he puts together a strong first half in 2018.
With his value higher, general manager Sandy Alderson could try and deal him at the trade deadline for a better return.
It’s a dangerous game to play, though. Should Harvey suffer another injury or struggle on the mound, the pickings around the trade market could be slim, risking the chance that the Mets get nothing for him and that he walks in free agency.