Mets appear likely to keep Harvey in the fold

Amid trade rumors, Callaway and Eiland eager to work with righty

December 12th, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Matt Harvey rumors may have pervaded the Dolphin Hotel's lobby floor this week, but general manager Sandy Alderson on Tuesday painted a less freewheeling picture of the Mets' interest in moving the former All-Star starter.

"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, referring to the Mets' new manager and pitching coach. "Everything else is, today, moot."

Since arriving at the Winter Meetings earlier this week, the Mets have held conversations with other teams -- including the Orioles and Rangers -- about Harvey. Interest abounds in a pitcher who posted a 2.27 ERA over 26 starts as a 24-year-old, starting the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field.

But the Mets have their own ideas on how to rekindle Harvey's career in Flushing. The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2013 and a second operation to alleviate symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome in June 2016. Last summer, Harvey missed close to three months due to shoulder weakness. He is eligible to become a free agent after this season.

Still, Harvey remains an important part of a Mets depth chart that features significant question marks in , Zack Wheeler, and . Beyond twin aces and , the Mets cannot know how their rotation will perform.

For all his issues, Harvey at least gives the Mets some additional depth and stability. By the end of last season, the right-hander was again hitting 97 mph on the radar gun, rekindling hopes that he can become a serviceable mid-rotation starter. Callaway, a former pitching coach, and Eiland are both eager to work with Harvey this spring.

How successful they will be remains to be seen. When asked Tuesday what percentage of Harvey's issues are physical or mental, Callaway demurred.

"I'm not really sure yet," the new manager said. "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."

But it is at least a conundrum the Mets plan to solve, with all signs pointing toward Harvey's return.