The Mets have announced that ace Matt Harvey has elected to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery later this month.
Harvey's absence for the 2014 season will be a crushing blow, as the 24-year-old was worth a robust 6.1 wins above replacement (per Fangraphs) in just 178 1/3 innings this season. Harvey pitched to an electric 2.27 ERA with 9.6 K/9, 1.6 BB/9 and a 47.7 percent ground-ball rate over the course of his first full season at the Major League level in 2013.
The Mets were expected to be aggressive players on the free agent market with an eye toward contending in 2014 with David Wright healthy at third base and a young pitching core fronted by Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jonathon Niese. They still appear poised to make a splash on the free agent market this winter, though the news that they will officially be without Harvey in 2014 has to significantly dampen expectations for the team's ultimate performance next season.
Though the team has numerous young pitching options, the confirmation that Harvey will be sidelined for the entirety of the 2014 campaign could increase the likelihood that the team adds a veteran starting pitcher to a wishlist that reportedly already includes Shin-Soo Choo.