Sandy Alderson is not going to “roll over” for Scott Boras and shut down Matt Harvey

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Earlier today we learned that the Mets and Scott Boras are in the midst of a dispute over Matt Harvey’s workload down the stretch. Boras thinks that Harvey should be shut down at 180 innings — he’s currently at 166 — and the Mets believing that his workload was never subject to a hard innings cap and that Boras bringing that up now is out of bounds.

This is not the first time we’ve seen this, of course. The Washington Nationals had a young ace, Stephen Strasburg, coming off of Tommy John surgery in 2012. The Nats said early and often that year that Strasburg, also a Boras client, was subject to a hard innings cap. And he was. They shut him down, he wasn’t available for the playoffs and to this day many people blame that shutdown for the Nats’ failure to advance. Heck, some people even blamed the shutdown on the Nats’ subsequent struggles in the next season.

I was not a big fan of Strasburg’s shutdown, but it’s unreasonable to suggest that his shutdown was the reason the Nats failed to advance in the playoffs (they had much bigger problems and the guy who took his place in the rotation pitched pretty darn well). The notion that the Nats 2013 problems were the result of the shutdown is downright ludicrous. But it did become a big story that sucked up a lot of oxygen that late summer and early fall and people still talk about it today. They’ll no doubt be comparing the Harvey situation to the Strasburg situation in the coming days and weeks, depending on how it’s handled.

But however that shakes out, it seems that Sandy Alderson is not going to take the path Mike Rizzo took and won’t be getting on Scott Boras’ train any time soon:

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Nor would I, assuming I had a plan in place to begin with. Which Alderson said he did and which only now Boras is second guessing.

With the caveat — a big caveat — that in no instance would it be wise to ignore doctors along the way, If I were Alderson, I’d be pretty loathe to give Boras the time of day on this stuff. I’d talk to my pitcher and ask him his thoughts and, assuming he’s wired the same way every other athlete is wired, I’d assume he’d be on board with doing whatever is in the Mets’ best interests to win a championship this year. Which is totally within this team’s grasp.

That doesn’t mean being reckless or pitching him too much. Heck, the Mets have a big lead at the moment and can afford to skip him or rest him quite a bit. But it certainly doesn’t mean shutting down one of the best young pitchers in the game simply because his agent wants you to.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.