LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The next phase of Matt Harvey’s tumultuous career will apparently unfold right where it began — in Flushing.
Sandy Alderson on Tuesday seemingly squashed the trade rumors floating over the Dark Knight. The Mets general manager said he’s heeding the advice of his new manager Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland, who have pushed to keep Harvey for the 2018 season.
“The most important thing I’m weighing are the opinions of Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland, and they don’t want to lose him,” Alderson said, when asked how he would approach any potential trade of Harvey. “Everything else is, today, moot.”
Both Callaway and Eiland have talked-up Harvey, who is coming off a horrendous season. Still slowed by thoracic outlet syndrome, Harvey went 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA in 19 starts. The Rangers and Orioles approached the Mets about trading for the righthander, whose name has come up in trade discussions since last season, with teams looking to swoop in with his value at perhaps its lowest point.
The Mets have told rival clubs that they are willing to listen on their pitchers with the exception of Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom. But they have stopped short of shopping their arms, partly because they need the rotation depth to guard against the injuries that wiped out the rotation last season.
That Callaway and Eiland advocated for Harvey seems to have added yet another reason for the Mets to be hesitant about a trade.
Now, the next challenge will be getting Harvey back on track, which will require deciphering whether his struggles have been mental, physical or a combination of both.
“I’m not really sure yet,” said Callaway, who had success turning careers around as the Indians’ pitching coach. “I’ve talked to him on the phone. There’s a lot more evaluating and talking to him and seeing him throw, Dave getting his hands on him in the offseason that needs to be done, before we can even discuss that really.”