SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Matt Harvey remains on track to be ready for spring training, agent Scott Boras said on Wednesday at the general managers’ meetings. The Mets righthander is working his way back from surgery to correct a nerve issue in his shoulder caused by thoracic outlet syndrome.
“He’s throwing free and easy,” said Boras, who visited Harvey in New York recently. “He’s strong and he’s had a great deal of time to work out, focus on his body and strength. So, we expect him to come back and be the Matt Harvey of old.”
Harvey, 27, went 4-10 with a career-worst 4.86 ERA in 17 starts before he was shut down in July to undergo surgery. Harvey developed a tingling sensation, over time in his fingertips, a sign of thoracic outlet syndrome. That dullness in his fingers compromised his command, an issue that Boras said originated in spring training, though the symptoms had escaped notice.
Said Boras: “Now that he has the feeling in his fingers, he has the ability to stretch out, lengthen out, throw, and get the ball off his fingertips while being able to have the feeling that he normally has to command the fastball.”
After going last season without one, the Mets are interviewing candidates for a full-time catching instructor, general manager Sandy Alderson said.
Both Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki endured down seasons, prompting the need for an instructor who could be added to the coaching staff. Former bench coach Bob Geren had previously worked with the team’s catchers, though he took that same position with the Dodgers after the 2015 season.
In recent years, Boras has used supermarket analogies to mock the Mets’ lack of spending. But the agent took a different tone on Wednesday, after the Mets’ payroll jumped to around $140 million last season.
“To finish the lap in the pool, you always have to swim in the deep end to get back to the shallow end,” Boras said. “The deep end is a place that the Mets are regularly visiting now. I think they have a good chance of completing their lap.”