“You either die the hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Words spoken by Harvey Dent in the Batman movie, The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent later on in the movie would of course become the iconic Batman comic book villain Two-Face.
So, how does this relate to the Mets’ Dark Knight, Matt Harvey? Well, Harvey is due up for arbitration this season, and without knowing any figures being thrown around, it probably is safe to assume his agent, Scott Boras, is going to ensure that Harvey stays on target for his 2019 Free Agency period with no pushing back of that year. Will this mean more of a turn to the Dark Side for Harvey (okay, last pop culture pun of this article) who has taken a lot of PR hits over the course of the last few years, since he burst onto the national spotlight. Unless there is some mutual and non-acrimonious agreement, you can probably see this adding a little more fuel to the “get rid of the Dark Diva while his trade value is at his highest” section of the fanbase.
That assertion is not as thick headed as one might think. Oh sure for every deal for a superstar on the verge of a payday that pays dividends for the team while the team giving up the superstar gets players way below the talent grade that they gave up, there are scores more along the lines of the Mark Langston for Randy Johnsons or Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz (latter actually did help deliver an AL East Division title to Detroit); but if you are in a position where if you feel there is no other way to go with the player, then perhaps it is time to cut bait.
Now, in the specific, is it time to do so with Matt Harvey? In 2016, unless everything you can think of goes wrong in the regular season actually does go wrong, the answer is no, not yet at least. While speculation is speculation, it probably would be advantageous to use Harvey as a trade chip in say 2018, again assuming he hadn’t been locked up long term by then and the Mets are indeed still as dreadful as projected based on their post NL Championship offseason would suggest.
But that is for the future to decide, while true, it would be more advantageous to move Harvey to a contender in the summer of 2018 for prospects, rather than see him go as a free agent (draft pick compensation or not) 2016 should be more about riding Harvey out for at least one-two more full seasons. See where fortunes have taken him, the Mets, and their bounty of pitching riches, and go from there when it is time for his last season before free agency.