How Matt Harvey is Hurting his Free Agent Value

The 2015 Mets have been the surprise team of baseball by playing better than excepted and sitting atop the NL East a few years ahead of schedule. Matt Harvey who was given the moniker “Dark Knight” has played a pivotal role in helping the Mets climb the standing and is allowing devoted followers of the Metropolitans to daydream about playing in October. Unfortunately Harvey’s representative, super-agent Scott Boras, went on a media blitz to force Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson, and the Mets organization to limit Harvey’s innings to 180 this season. The perceived goal of Boras’s actions was to keep Harvey healthy and cash in as a free agent in 2018 but limiting Harvey in 2015 could decrease his value as a free agent.

One issue with this course of action is that when the Mets need Harvey the most, Harvey will be standing on the sideline. While Harvey is projected to receive a 200 million dollar offer when he becomes a free agent how many franchises want to invest in a player who is sitting out a pennant race? How many players want to compete with an athlete who is sitting out when healthy? These two issues will make organizations weary to open up their checkbook and provide the payday Boras and Harvey desire.

Second issue with Boras’s campaign was Harvey will not play in the postseason. The best way to increase your value as a player is to have your best performance during the postseason. Developing a track record as a phenomenal postseason pitcher will help tremendously when negotiating with teams. Pitching a shutout in a series clinching game will facilitate organizations wanting to acquire Harvey.

Third, this might be the only opportunity for Harvey to pitch in the postseason. While the Mets have high expectations for the future they can only look at their own history to know that the future is not guaranteed. During the early to mid-1980s Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, and company were supposed to win multiple World Series. When looking at their overall performance they made the playoffs twice and won one World Series. That one World Series might not have happened if the Red Sox got one more out in game 6 in the 1986 World Series.

Finally, Boras could be a hurdle in negotiations with teams. First, an agent’s primary function is to negotiate the best deal for their clients, not call into multiple media outlets and to start controversy. Many teams will shy away from unwanted distractions, especially when the team is gearing up for a playoff run. Even though Harvey does have talent and is a box office draw Boras’s transgressions off the field could hurt his client in the future.