On Monday, Ian Mohr of the New York Post’s Page Six published a report that Mets pitcher Matt Harvey was seen partying in San Diego on Saturday night, the night before he gave up a home run in another disappointing relief appearance against the Padres. The report cited “a spy” who suggested that Harvey “must have been so desperate to party, he came up from San Diego.” The report cited another guest who said Harvey “was sober.”
GM Sandy Alderson got wind of the report and was unable to hide his disdain for Harvey. Via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Alderson was asked if he was upset about the report about Harvey. Alderson said, “Usually I get upset if a report is unexpected. So I guess the short answer is no.”
Recently, I wrote about Harvey, who was rude when he expressed that he did not wish to speak to the media. He’s been having a rough go of it, as he struggled so much as a starter that he got demoted to the bullpen, and he’s struggling there, too. The media is down his throat and now his GM has expressed disappointment in him publicly.
Harvey, who is a free agent after the season, and the Mets need to part ways. The situation appears to be toxic. What is still in it for either party? Harvey is constantly under the microscope as a Met; the Mets are getting a 5.76 ERA from him so far this season and he hasn’t been effective since 2015. Harvey needs a change of scenery — a new team with fans that haven’t turned on him, with media members that don’t have a bone to pick with him, and a front office that doesn’t expect him to return to Cy Young form overnight. The Mets would no longer feel obligated to dedicate a spot on the 25-man roster to a pitcher they clearly don’t believe in.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will try to get Fernando Tatís Jr. locked up in a long-term deal before the start of the 2020 season.
It’d be a wise move from the team’s perspective, of course. Tatís showed in 2019 that he’s the future of the franchise, hitting .317/.379/.590 with 22 homers and 16 stolen bases through 84 games while playing spectacular defense at short. He was a serious contender for the Rookie of the Year Award before going down to injury and still finished third despite playing just a tad over half a season.
That talent and promise means that, in all likelihood, Tatís stands to make massive money in arbitration and free agency once he gets there. If he gets there, that is. Because as we’ve seen so often in recent years, teams have been aggressive in their efforts to lock up young stars like Tatís, buying out their arbitration and at least a couple of their free agency years. These deals tend to be team-friendly, with multiple team options aimed at getting maximal value out of such players before they hit the open market. Of course, the players get much more up front money than they would in the three seasons in which teams can and do set their salaries unilaterally, usually at less than $1 million per year. It’s a standard now vs. later tradeoff, even if the value of the “now” is far less than the value of “later” and even if it pays these guys far less than they’re worth overall.
But that’s the system. And it’s one which will force Tatís to make a tough choice: either take a deal at a time when the team has most of the leverage or else turn down millions in hand now in order take a shot at many more millions later. In his case, he’ll have a rookie season with multiple injuries to think about too. Does that portend future injury issues? Could he, like some players who have been in his shoes before, end up damaged goods by the time he expected to get paid?
We’ll see how both he and the Padres calculate all of that between now and February, it seems.