9:29pm: GM Sandy Alderson has responded to the USA Today story, as Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (Twitter links). “Any plans we have for the rest of the regular season are tentative,” said Alderson. He went on to throw doubt on the notion of a settled strategy for the postseason, saying: “We have not spent any time yet on a ’playoff’ plan. Nothing has been discussed in that regard.”
9:24pm: The Mets have arrived at a plan to limit righty Matt Harvey’s innings down the stretch and into the postseason, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. GM Sandy Alderson indicated this morning that he and agent Scott Boras were working toward a compromise, as Harvey himself recently said would be the case.
The resolution, it appears, will be for Harvey to start tomorrow against the Nationals and then just make one more regular season start in a bid to keep him to about 182 or 183 regular season frames. He’ll only start in the season’s final week against Washington if the division is still at stake, per the report.
Most interesting, perhaps, is that the roadmap would call for Harvey to start only once per playoff series. Notably, also, the 26-year-old would potentially be placed on a roughly 60-pitch cap for his post-season outings.
In terms of on-field impact, it’s hard to downplay the significance of this modified usage. While New York now holds a commanding five-game lead in the NL East after gutting out a win today, and remains in the driver’s seat, the October limitations seem rather limiting. The Mets will also be looking to manage the workload of rising youngster Noah Syndergaard, and he or another pitcher could theoretically be paired with Harvey at times, but it would obviously be preferable — from a near-term competitive perspective — for the team to turn loose one of the game’s most potent arms without restriction.
From a transactional perspective, agreement between the sides would presumably help to ameliorate any bad feelings about the highly-publicized situation. Harvey is eligible for arbitration for the first time net year and is on track to hit the open market after the 2018 season. With the free-agency-oriented Boras as his agent, it’s long been expected that he would not seriously entertain extension talks, and some have speculated that the apparent discord could lead to a trade. There is little sense, really, in attempting to forecast the long-term relationship, but any compromise would at least appear likely to defuse serious future discord.