Mets: Matt Harvey will have a tough time finding MLB contract next year

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 19: Matt Harvey
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 19: Matt Harvey /

After his latest start, it’s even harder to imagine New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey finding a team willing to offer him a major league contract in 2018. Can he turn things around?

What will the New York Mets do with Matt Harvey? Even without the notion of Jason Vargas returning from injury soon, it’s a question plaguing many of us.

Harvey had everything going for him a few years ago. He was one of the team’s most popular players. Injuries struck and he hasn’t been the same ever since. In fact, he’s been only a fraction of the pitcher he was in those early seasons.

Even at the start of this season, it looked like Harvey had a good chance at staying in the rotation. Even with the logjam of starting pitchers, he looked ahead of Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz. Wheeler hasn’t pitched enough to earn extra inches on his leash and appears to be someone capable of shifting to the bullpen a lot easier. In Matz’s case, he’s a lefty and we all know how badly the Mets’ bullpen needs another one of them.

Unfortunately, Harvey has been the worst starting pitcher for the Mets in April. At 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA only someone with OCD can appreciate, the end looks very nigh.

Matt Harvey’s Future

This year, the Mets will keep Harvey. I don’t see them releasing him unless things get really ugly off the field. We know this is a frugal organization. They would much rather turn Harvey into a dangerous relief weapon than give up on him completely and pay him to leave.

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Next season is when things get real interesting. I can’t imagine the Mets inviting him back, leaving Harvey to fend for himself in free agency. When he does go out into the open world looking for a new home, it’s unlikely that the first deal he signs is a contract of the MLB variety.

Last winter, many quality players settled on minor league deals. Some did turn it into a major league contract due to performance or need for the team. Harvey has a better chance of doing the latter.

Harvey is entering Tim Lincecum territory and I do see his career turning out much like the former Cy Young winner.

At first, Lincecum was reluctant to transform into a relief pitcher. A failed comeback attempt with the Los Angeles Angels changed that which allowed The Freak an opportunity to compete for a job in the Texas Rangers’ bullpen. Injuries have put that on hold for now.

Some may argue that a team like the Tampa Bay Rays or Oakland Athletics would willingly pay Harvey $1 million to start for them in 2019. Would he accept such a small amount so soon? Moreover, why would they even want him?

Harvey is a risk that even on a bad team would take away innings from the kids. He’s in the pit of misery right now and no matter how much Dilly Dilly’ing he does, climbing out of it will take more than a year.

Next: Mets must move Jay Bruce to first base

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There’s a lot more Harvey needs to prove until I’m convinced he belongs in the major leagues. Though I do believe he has many big league innings left in him, I’m not so sure he gets his chance in 2019.