In a complete surprise to almost everyone, the New York Mets suspended Matt Harvey for three games without pay yesterday. From the sounds of things, this may have been a long time coming.
During the middle of the morning yesterday, the news broke that the New York Mets had suspended pitcher Matt Harvey just hours before his scheduled start against the Miami Marlins. This came as a surprise to everyone, as there had not been any rumors of any issues between the team and their starter, at least to that point. The Mets, for their part, refused to state why they had suspended Harvey, calling it an internal matter.
Naturally, details began to leak out. Unnamed team sources told the New York Daily News that this suspension dated back to issues that had begun last year, and former Met Paul Lo Duca called Harvey’s actions “indefensible.” Mets owner Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon were seen in a heated discussion on field prior to Saturday’s game, which is believed to have been about Harvey. Obviously, this suspension has been a long time coming.
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ALL the rumors about Matt Harvey are completely wrong…but what he did I can’t defend. He let his teammates down more than anyone. #LGM
Other former Mets, and Major Leaguers, have given their thoughts on the situation as well. Dontrelle Willis called the team “a mess.” Bobby Ojeda called the situation “toxic” between Harvey and the Mets. Something needs to be done.
While it is possible that this suspension will be the wakeup call that the Mets feel Harvey needs, it is even more likely to continue to drive a wedge between the two sides. Given Ojeda’s usage of the word toxic, which appears to be deliberate in nature, the latter scenario seems probable.
Meanwhile, Harvey is not taking the suspension quietly. Although he is going to be away from the team, he has filed a grievance over the unpaid portion of his punishment, claiming he was not told of the suspension until he arrived at the ballpark yesterday. As it appears that the Mets did not hear from Harvey on Saturday, and he just did not appear at the park that day, the lack of communication is not a surprise.
At this point, it is time that the two sides walk away from one another. Harvey is in the midst of his arbitration years, and it may not be a surprise if the Mets decline to offer him a contract, given his struggles and injury woes from 2016. Likewise, it is possible that the Mets look to trade Harvey to a team hoping that he just needs a change of scenery.
At this point, any return the Mets would get would pale in comparison to what they would have received after the 2015 campaign. Since his breakthrough that year, Harvey has posted a 6-12 record with a 4.93 ERA and a 1.418 WHiP, striking out 96 batters while issuing 38 walks in 127.2 innings. Add in his injury history, as he missed most of last season with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and missed 2014 with Tommy John surgery, there are plenty of question marks, outside of his mental state.