Who can really be surprised the Mets and agent Scott Boras are at odds over Matt Harvey? In this case, I’d love to tell you I told you so, but I told you so.
Word predictably surfaced this week Boras told the Mets to shut down his client at 180 innings, which is 13.2 less than he has now. Why is Boras throwing out a number? Quite simply because Mets GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins – in all their wisdom – failed to do so at the start of the season and instead decided to go with monitoring his innings with a “play it by ear” format.
Reportedly, Boras contacted Alderson with his demands the end of last month. Alderson should tell Boras, in no uncertain terms, he and not Boras runs the Mets.
Alderson told CBS Sports: “For a guy to say to us on the 29th of August, `180 innings and then you’re going to shut him down … don’t call me seven months later and tell me you’re pulling the rug out from under me, not after all we’ve done to protect the player.’ ”
The Mets have done a lot, including throwing over 110 pitches just once. But, they could have done more, such as not permitting him to pitch in the “sore throat” game and not allowing him to pitch into the ninth in a blowout win over the Yankees.
If the Mets defined a plan of limiting Harvey to six innings, it would have saved them 18.1 innings over 14 starts. That total would be more if they shaved one start every two months.
Times have changed and agents have considerably more power in a team’s inner workings than ever before, and it’s not for the better. It’s just the way it is.
The Mets could have handled this better, but that’s something we say frequently about the Alderson regime. But, dealing with Boras is always tenuous at best. This is clearly about money – or, future money – which defines Boras.
Boras’ concern over Harvey’s health is disingenuous, because if he really cared he would have told his client to quit his complaining about the six-man rotation, which is designed to protect the pitcher.
The agent isn’t thinking about the Mets, or the playoffs, but solely his client and the prospects of what he will bring first in arbitration, and later, free agency. The less Harvey throws now, the greater the chance Harvey remains healthy and will cash in.
If you think this is a problem now, just imagine how things will be when Harvey becomes a free agent in 2019.