Here’s the latest from around the NL East…
- The Mets haven’t approached Matt Harvey about a long-term extension, agent Scott Boras tells The Record’s Matt Ehalt. “I always leave it up to the teams to approach us about those things like Washington did with (Stephen Strasburg). We just keep our doors open and evaluate things as it comes,” Boras said. Offseason chatter indicated that there weren’t any talks between the two sides, though since Strasburg’s extension rather surprisingly came out of nowhere, it wouldn’t be as stunning to see a Harvey contract negotiated privately. Harvey, of course, still has two more arbitration-eligible years before hitting the open market after the 2018 seasons, whereas Strasburg was scheduled for free agency this coming winter. An extension is likely less important to the Mets than simply getting Harvey on track — the righty has a 4.93 ERA through his first eight starts, though his peripherals indicate that he been somewhat unlucky (.373 BABIP, 3.35 FIP, 3.75 xFIP, 3.95 SIERA).
- In the latest Baseball America mock draft, Hudson Belinsky projects the Phillies will take Florida southpaw A.J. Puk with the first overall pick. Pat Gillick and other Phils executives, however, have been seen scouting high school outfielders Mickey Moniak and Blake Rutherford, and sources tell Belinsky that the Phillies could draft a slightly lower-regarded player in order to save slot money on the first overall pick. Philadelphia has a draft bonus pool of just over $13.405MM (the second-highest amount of any club) and it could be the latest team to strategically deploy their draft spending by spending less on a top pick in order to spend more on a harder-to-sign talent in a later round. Ultimately, however, Belinsky feels the Phillies still go with “the safer option” in Puk given “the importance of this pick in the club’s rebuilding effort.”
- While the Braves are disappointed by their poor 2016 record, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that the club has played a tough schedule. Big picture-wise, the Braves are still in good shape, as O’Brien observes that many of the big names Atlanta has dealt (such as Justin Upton, Shelby Miller or Jason Heyward) are currently struggling, while the Braves received several building-block prospects to aid in their rebuild.