Boras vs. Alderson all about competing interests

Ken Rosenthal’s already written, and written well, about Scott Boras’s latest complaint about baseball management.

But we’re still missing some key evidence. We’re missing Boras’s e-mail message to Sandy Alderson. We’re missing any earlier correspondence between them, especially from last winter or spring when Boras might have conveyed his preferences and recommendations regarding Harvey’s workload. And finally, we’re missing the memo wherein Dr. Andrews very specifically said BY NO MEANS SHOULD MATT HARVEY BE ALLOWED TO THROW MORE THAN 180 INNINGS IN 2015.

Okay, so I’m just gonna guess that memo doesn’t actually exist. Because Andrews is something like a scientist and that’s really not the sort of thing a scientist would say because in this case the science isn’t nearly precise another for something like that. 

Sandy Alderson’s on the record, saying the Mets had a "soft" limit in mind of 180-190 innings, which actually seems like something that Boras might have advised. You know, a range that allows for the consideration of various other factors, like how hard Harvey might have worked in individual games, or what various tests were saying about his fatigue level during the season. Here’s how Ken Rosenthal closed:

To repeat: Arm care is a highly inexact science. James Andrews says 180 innings is the limit? Fine, I say it’s 200. And I challenge anyone to prove I’m wrong.

Of course there’s no such thing as an effective limit; the limit’s a rough estimate, at best. But we call these thing limits because without a specific number, chaos must follow.

But I think all we can say about 180 vs. 200 is that 200 certainly seems riskier than 180 … but of course that’s really just begging the question. We don’t want to know if it’s riskier, but rather how much riskier. Which is almost impossible to say.

I suspect that "Mets winning World Series" has a place on Scott Boras’s list of priorities, but that it’s pretty far down the list. Or at least below "ensure that Matt Harvey gets a huge payday in his next contract." Not to mention the fact that if Harvey’s team wins the World Series, Boras will almost certainly have clients on all the teams that don’t win the World Series. Generally speaking, the postseason is basically a zero-sum game for Boras. So why should he give a damn about the Mets?

Answer: He shouldn’t. But the Mets should. Boras doesn’t have to balance anything at all; all he has to worry about is how many millions of dollars his client earns. But the Mets must balance Matt Harvey’s future with the compelling desire to win a championship for themselves, their players, and their fans. Which is why that 180-190 figure must necessarily be soft. At least until there’s more hard evidence.