Gotham’s Dark Knight has become its Joker with the recent happenings involving New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey.
On Sunday, the controversial star was suspended three games without pay for violating team rules.
Of course, the hammer came down on his day to start against the Miami Marlins, forcing the Mets to go with Adam Wilk, who was hammered in a 7-0 loss.
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He reportedly told the team that he wasn’t feeling well and would not come to the ballpark, only to arrive on Sunday and find out that he was suspended.
The 28-year-old will likely file a grievance against the Mets for his unpaid suspension, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
It’s just the latest issue in a long line of questionable moves involving the pitcher that has frayed his relationship with the team.
Whether it was showing up at Yankee Stadium for Derek Jeter’s final home game in 2014 or the ongoing saga in 2015 that was his innings limit after Tommy John surgery that prompted Harvey’s agent Scott Boras to make matters worse, the off-field issues have far outweighed the on-field success.
In five years with the Mets, he is 31-30 with a 3.08 ERA. Yes, he and his fellow Mets starters haven’t received solid run support throughout the years, but his inability to stay healthy — or consistent, or win the big game — makes all this trouble seem not worth it.
Harvey is a free agent in 2018. We all know that, and it’s something that has been looming over Mets fans’ heads for the past few seasons. For a while there, the writing was on the wall that he would bolt for the crosstown rival Yankees and reach new levels of success in the Bronx.
But his unreliability and recent struggles on the mound has made him look like damaged goods. Sure, the promise is still there and he should have plenty left in the tank, but what team is going to take a chance and offer him big money in 2018?
I don’t think the Mets should be one of them.
Actually, the Mets probably should not stick with Harvey until his contract expires. If this relationship cannot be repaired, there is little to no chance that he would re-sign with the team.
If I’m general manager Sandy Alderson, start floating his name out there now and make sure you get something for him before he walks.
Once they are healthy (which is a big if), the Mets will have solid pitching with Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler. That goes without saying.
Look for one more bat on the trade market that can hit for average and provide a high on-base percentage. It’s something New York does not have right now and must get in order to turn things around in the coming years.
Although, top prospect Amed Rosario could very well be that savior when he is ready to make the jump to the majors. But it doesn’t hurt to have more than one guy who can get on base and set the table for the big bats.
It’s difficult to acquire an everyday player for a starter, which is why I wouldn’t be afraid to throw Lucas Duda into a deal with Harvey this year.
The streaky, currently injured Duda is a free agent after this season and Dominic Smith looks to be the future of the franchise at first base.
If the opportunity presents itself over the following few months, or even during the first half of next season, the Mets need to pull the trigger and rid themselves of the soap opera that is Harvey if things don’t shape up.