Earlier in the week, rumors were coming out of the winter meetings about the Mets looking to trade former Ace, Matt Harvey. The main two rumors circulating were trades of him to the Texas Rangers for Jurickson Profar, or to the Baltimore Orioles for a relief pitcher. Neither have come to fruition, and more recent reports indicate that the Mets are likely to keep Harvey in the fold for the 2018 season. Nevertheless, these rumors bring up the question of if the Mets should trade Matt Harvey.
Any casual Mets fan knows the story of the rise and fall of the Dark Knight of Flushing. Matt Harvey was a Mets hero and living legend for Mets fans. Throughout his first couple seasons, every time he pitched the world stood still in the minds of fans, and all of baseball was focused on the New York Mets and “Harvey Day.” He was the next dominant pitcher in baseball. In just his second year he finished fourth in Cy Young voting (with a 2.27 ERA) and seemed destined for greatness. But, at the end of his second season it was determined that he needed Tommy John Surgery and missed all of the 2014 season. However, he returned to dominant form in unprecedented fashion in 2015 posting a 2.71 ERA in 29 starts. It was miraculous, and everyone knew the Dark Knight had returned. The Mets made a World Series run, pushing Harvey well over his inning limit for the season, ending with him staying in a game too long and blowing it. After that, Harvey has never been the same. Some blame the Mets for allowing Harvey to pitch into the postseason, while others blame Harvey mentally. The past two years have been rough for him, with injuries nagging, and his pitching just not being the same. Harvey is coming off his worst season as a pro, with a 6.70 ERA and just 67 strikeouts in 18 starts. The Dark Knight seems to have fallen, but the question is will he get up one more time?
Harvey is coming off his worst year as a Met, and has just one year of team control left. The question for the Mets has to be whether they think he has more value for them as a player or as a trade chip. Harvey still has trade value. He is still just 28 years old and is now two years removed from a second major surgery. Any team trading for him would be betting on his alpha mentality to overcome these obstacles and rediscover his talents and be the ace he once was. It is not impossible, and is the reason why the Mets don’t want to just give him away.
The Mets rotation struggled last year, posting the team’s worst ERA in 50 years. The Mets need starting pitching, and Matt Harvey has the ability to be one of the best pitchers in the world. Even if he never regains the form he once had, settling in as a number three or four starter behind Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom would be monumental for the Mets. Whatever value the Mets get in return for Harvey likely will not carry the same level of possible reward as keeping him would. The only trades Harvey should be involved in are for sure things that will help this team next season and beyond. A top-tier reliever, or as a piece in a trade for an All-Star (like Manny Machado). If the Mets keep Harvey, this is his last year under team control before hitting free agency next season, so whether he struggles or thrives, it is very possible the Mets will just let him walk for nothing. It is a gamble, but one the team should take. The New York Yankees are all anyone is talking about these days with the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, but if Matt Harvey and the rest of the Mets highly touted staff can regain their form from the World Series run, New York baseball will be fun to watch all around.
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