As the Mets filtered into their clubhouse Saturday, there was no sign — yet — that the shocking news the day before had really happened.
The Mets formally designated Matt Harvey for assignment, but his No. 33 jersey still hung in his locker, his Jay Bruce T-shirt (the giveaway for Friday’s game) was draped over his chair, and his footwear was there, too.
Alas, Harvey is no longer a Met — at least not an active one; the team has up to seven days to work out a trade or he’ll become a free agent — and righthander Hansel Robles is back in the majors.
Michael Conforto said Friday night that he was shocked by the development in which Harvey, after four starts and four relief appearances this year, was cut loose when he refused to accept an assignment to the minors.
“I didn’t think it would end this way,” said Conforto, who shares an agent (Scott Boras) with Harvey. “I wish him all the best. He was a good teammate. He’s a good friend. So I hope he does well in his future endeavors.”
Bruce said he could not imagine Harvey willingly accepting the assignment.
“You pitch and play long enough, you’ve earned the right to refuse an assignment,” Bruce said. “I don’t know many guys in his shoes who would have accepted it. He thinks he can have a chance somewhere else to get a fresh start and a clean slate.”
As time for batting practice approached, a clubhouse attendant started to break Harvey’s locker down.
It’s unclear what Harvey’s post-Mets life will be like.
“You see it all the time, guys go and get a new start somewhere and they thrive,” Bruce said. “So I wish him the best as a person, for sure, and as a former teammate, I want him to have success. I want him to play a long time and get back to where he feels like he’s himself.”