So, Matt Harvey is open to a contract extension. The Mets right-hander opened up Spring Training with a topic of discussion that surely the Mets front office would like to avoid as much as possible, and that is pending negotiations with Harvey and his agent Scott Boras.
While Harvey is not scheduled to hit free agency until after the 2018 season, it has long been expected that Harvey will elect to go free agent and leave the Mets for the most money possible. Many Mets fans fear that he wants badly to be a New York Yankee.
Now, Harvey is willing to say that he would like to remain a Met if the possibility were to present itself.
“I think I never shied away from it. I never said I wouldn’t consider it,” Harvey told reporters in Port St. Lucie.
To be fair, Harvey was likely asked about remaining a Met long term; it’s not like he called a press conference to announce he wants to be a Met.
That being said, this is a shrewd negotiation ploy by both Harvey and Boras to put the Mets in a full court press, putting it on Sandy Alderson and company to reciprocate and commit to a potential long-term negotiation down the line. This is also a way to gain sympathy from Mets fans, who will almost certainly turn on ownership should the Mets not re-sign Harvey.
Harvey is no dummy. He’s making only $4.325 million this season. He considers himself a front line ace, and is fully aware of the contracts David Price (7-years $217 million), Clayton Kershaw (6-years, $214 million), and Zach Grienke (six years, $206 million) are making. He also knows that Seattle ace Felix Hernandez is making $25 million a season through 2019. He also saw, Max Scherzer, another Boras client, ink a $216 million contract with Washington last off-season.
So get ready folks, the battle lines are being drawn into the sand right now.
Harvey is not the only young pitcher the Mets have who will be looking for a contract. Jacob deGrom is looking for a deal. Soon enough Noah Syndergaard will be looking for an extension too. So will closer Jeyrus Familia. The Mets can’t keep them all. However it is fair to argue that deGrom, Syndergaard and Familia have all proven to be even more valuable than Harvey, who has battled through Tommy John’s surgery and inning’s limits already in his career.
This could go one of two ways. Either the Mets sit down with Harvey after the 2016 season and hash out a contract extension that will pay him $25 million per year for the next four or five years, or they trade him away sometime between the 2016 trade deadline and next Spring Training in order to avoid what is bound to be a contentious negotiation and likely ugly divorce.