Students from Pace University Law School annually compete in a baseball arbitration competition at Tulane University in New Orleans. Their projections for the salaries of arbitration-eligible Mets players annually prove remarkably close to the actual salaries those players ultimately receive. The current Pace team provides their analyses this week for Metsblog. The squad includes Earl Menard, James Di Maggio, and Scott Koren, all from the Class of 2018. They are coached by Dan Masi, a 2014 Pace graduate and former winner of the Tulane competition. The projections are based on salaries received by other MLB players at the points in their careers when they had comparable service time to the current Mets.
It seems long ago when throngs of Mets fans descended upon Citi Field for "Harvey Day." After two seasons of poor performance, the Dark Knight has been a shadow of himself.
From 2012 through '15, during a span interrupted by Tommy John surgery, Harvey never had an ERA of more than 2.73. Then, in 2016, Harvey battled through 17 starts before being shut down with thoracic outlet syndrome. His ERA rose to 4.86 and his WHIP rose to 1.468.
With the injury seemingly behind him, Harvey hoped for a rebound year in 2017. Through his first four starts, Harvey looked like the Harvey of old. He sported a 2.84 ERA, and each start he made was a quality start.
The season went downhill from there. Over Harvey's next nine starts, he went 3-6, allowed 33 runs in 45 innings, sported a 6.60 ERA, and walked 30 while striking out 37. Harvey then went on the disabled list for more than two months with a stress-related injury to his right shoulder. Harvey returned, but continued to underperform. Over his final six games, he allowed 28 runs in 22 1/3 innings, posted an 11.28 ERA, had a 2.46 WHIP, and yielded a 1.125 OPS. For the season, Harvey finished with a 5-7 record, 6.70 ERA, 92 2/3 innings, and a robust 1.694 WHIP.
As he enters his third arbitration year and his final season before free agency, Harvey compares similarly to Alex Cobb, Jhoulys Chacin, and Ivan Nova when they went through their third arbitration years.
Cobb received only a $200,000 raise when he went through his third arbitration in 2016. He made five starts in his comparable year, pitched only 22 innings, and posted an 8.59 ERA. Harvey made more starts, pitched more innings, and had a better all-around platform year than Cobb, which should equate to a larger raise due to more, albeit inferior performance.
Head here for arbitration projections for Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom
Chacin made 11 starts in his compable year of 2014. And while only posting a 1-7 record, he did make five quality starts, posting a 5.40 ERA for the year. Chacin was awarded a $650,000 raise for his performance. Harvey did have more starts, innings, wins and as many quality starts as Chacin, but posted an inferior ERA and WHIP.
Nova had his comparable season experience-wise in 2015, finished with a 6-11 record in 17 starts, and was awarded an $850,000 raise. He posted a 5.07 ERA and 1.4 WHIP on the year. Harvey made one more start, but Nova's numbers were better across the board.
Harvey's 2017 stats fall between Chacin and Nova's in their comparable years. And while Harvey ought to get credit for pitching nearly 30 more innings than Chacin, his ERA will keep him below Nova's raise.
Harvey should be awarded a raise of $725,000, for a total salary of $5.85 million.
Adam Rubin (Facebook | Twitter | Contact) has covered the Mets since 2002. He previously worked for the Daily News and ESPN. He also serves as assistant athletic director for strategic communications at NYIT. He is a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the University of Pennsylvania.