The Mets should consider trading Matt Harvey.
Why on earth would the Mets trade a 26-year-old ace who is entering his prime and is not a free agent until after the 2018 season?
For that exact reason. The value that Harvey could bring back in a trade could be a king’s ransom. If Sandy Alderson called up a team and said we are willing to give you three full years of Matt Harvey’s prime, the Mets could still have a chance to reverse their fortunes and cash in, big time.
There is little doubt that every fifth day is an event at Citi Field when Harvey takes the mound. He has a special arm and should go on to have an excellent career. But the Mets have a surplus of starting pitching and while everybody is saying that they should trade either Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz, a name like Harvey’s would bring back a lot more in a trade because of his success at the major league level.
What makes this even better for the Mets is that if they do trade Harvey, they will still have a rotation of Jacob deGrom (free agent after the 2020 season), Noah Syndergaard (2021), Steven Matz (2021), and Zack Wheeler (2019) under team control longer than Harvey is. If the Mets get back six young players in a trade, for example, they can develop in the minors for a season or two and then come up and be ready when all four of these guys are still in their primes.
Consider this possibility:
In this possible trade, the Mets add three outfielders who are all athletic players who can run and play at least solid defense and Santana could step into their lineup from day one. They focus on up-the-middle players, which they sorely lack, in Tony Kemp, who is having a breakout season this year after being drafted out of Vanderbilt in 2013 and compares somewhat similarly to Jose Altuve because of his size and his ability to make contact, run and get on base. Bregman was the number-two pick in this year’s draft out of LSU and should be a quick-to-the-majors bat who can stay up the middle defensively and has tremendous makeup. Sierra is the wild card. He was signed last July out of Venezuela for $1 million and is only 17, but he is polished and should be able to stick at shortstop long term. This is one of two upside players in this mock deal, with Daz Cameron — Mike’s son, who has an immense ceiling and another 2015 draft pick — being the other one. As for the Astros, Matt Harvey would be the piece at the top of their rotation to go with Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers that puts them over the top and wins them the AL West this year. He will also be there the next three years with the exciting core of players they have put together that will all remain intact after this possible trade.
If this were to happen, the 2017 Mets could look something like this:
|1. Brett Phillips – RF|
|2. Tony Kemp – 2B|
|3. David Wright – 3B|
|4. Travis d’Arnaud – C|
|5. Lucas Duda – 1B|
|6. Domingo Santana – LF|
|7. Alex Bregman – SS|
|8. Juan Lagares – CF|
|1. Jacob deGrom|
|2. Noah Syndergaard|
|3. Steven Matz|
|4. Zack Wheeler|
That sure has the potential to be a heck of a lot better than what the Mets have right now. And I did not even list Wilmer Flores, Dilson Herrera, Kevin Plawecki, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Gavin Cecchini, Matt Reynolds, Amed Rosario, or Dominic Smith, who could all very well be prominent major leaguers by then, or at least close to the majors. That’s almost another entire team right there. This would not only give the Mets a legitimate lineup with a still excellent rotation, but it will allow them to have some depth that they have not had in years. Plus at this point, Cameron and Sierra could be established among the Mets top prospects, and while it may take them a few more years to make it to Queens, it is important to have waves of young talent coming through the pipeline in order to maintain long-term success. They could become dynamic players at premium positions, shortstop and center field. This is just an example of what the Mets may be able to receive in a trade if they decided to move Harvey, and it really could be a fantastic baseball trade for both teams involved once all is said and done.
They whiffed on Jose Reyes and David Wright, but the Mets now have another golden trade ticket that can potentially turn this franchise around. This one is more valuable than either of the previous two, and the sooner they make a move, the more value they will get in return. The Mets are not one bat away from fixing this thing, so they need to think outside the box and while it probably won’t happen, trading Matt Harvey would be the start of the turnaround for a Mets franchise that has been in mediocrity for the last decade. Do the Mets want to be winning 70-something games for the next three seasons and then let Harvey walk as a free agent? Or do they want to have a chance to contend again in two years? To me, it’s a no brainer. Pull the trigger Sandy, make the trade.