I’ve never watched a soap opera. I’ve never had the urge to watch people bicker and plot on a consistent basis. No, I’ve never watched a soap opera. I get my fill of drama and tragedy from the New York Mets and it’s an opera I can’t look away from. Wilpons and Madoffs, Wrights and Grandersons and a horrible catchy song. It’s hard not to open the newspaper and look to see what’s going down in Queens. They’re rebuilding, yes but it’s taking longer than it took LIPA to restore electricity to house a few years back (Remember LIPA. I try to forget). So as the Mets feverishly try to muster the troops and build big for the future, will the long wait be too much for their ace Matt Harvey?
In 2018 Matt Harvey will be a free agent. Think it’s a long time? Mets fans are praying that it lasts a lot longer. Harvey is a guy who wants to win and the Mets can’t do that right now and it may be a while before they can. He also knows his own value and he’ll tell you what it is if you ask him. Harvey has a lot of talent and once his contract expires, he could be looking at a very nice paycheck and if the Mets don’t clean up their act, they may see their ace pack his bags for the Bronx.
The Yankees have spent big this off-season and they’ll look to continue that trend if it means bringing in baseball’s biggest stars. The Mets are much more conservative when it comes to their money and if the Yankees do decide to make a run at Matt Harvey, it will be very hard for the team in Queens to compete with their crosstown rivals. By 2018, the Yankees will be free of huge contracts owed to Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia and that free money can spell big trouble for the Mets if Harvey does indeed hit the free agent market. The Bombers have a very good young core of pitchers on their staff right now, and with little support from their farm system, they’ll likely be very active in the open market for pitchers. The Mets have only 13 players on their 25-man roster who are set to be paid over one million dollars in 2013 and their activity on the free agent market in recent years has been minimal. Not very good omens for the Amazin’s.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle for the Mets is Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras. Ah, I can hear you groaning now. “Does this guy represent everyone?” No, but close enough. Boras is famous for his fierce business tactics and outspoken behavior. He also prefers his clients to reach free agency and avoid contract extensions in hopes of gaining a much larger contract. Of course there are exceptions like Elvis Andrus, who recently signed a deal to stay with the Texas Rangers through 2023, but it was a very high-priced deal for the Rangers and the Mets don’t pack that kind of coin.
In a few years the sweepstakes for Matt Harvey may come down to the Yankees and Mets, Queens versus the Bronx, Wilpons vs Steinbrenners. With one exception (Cano), this past off-season has followed a simple trend: What the Yankees want, the Yankees get. This has been a common trend for decades and the Mets better be weary of the Yankees’ checkbook. Harvey will cost a pretty penny, and it doesn’t help the Mets that he grew up rooting for the Yankees. If the Mets want to keep their ace, they’ll need to get their act together and put a stop to their soap opera-style business operations. They’ll need to shell out or watch Matt Harvey ship out… and he may land in the Bronx.