According to Boras, Dr. James Andrews and other surgeons consulted have said that for maximum safety Harvey is not to exceed 180 innings for the year, including the postseason.
Harvey has already thrown 166 innings and is expected to make at least four more starts before the end of the season. As it stands, he is projected to throw around 200 innings, which is the reported number the Mets have been working off of as they schedule Harvey's starts through the remainder of the season.
"This is not a dispute between between representative and player, and club," Boras explained to Heyman. "This is about a doctor providing expert medical opinion regarding the safety and well being of the player. If the club chooses to violate the ethical standard of the medical opinion, that is strictly their prerogative. I'm not a medical doctor. I don't make these things up."
Alderson has repeatedly said, and again told Heyman, that he and the team have a general idea of what number Harvey should not exceed, but that it's a moving target and something they base on his heath and performance throughout the season.
Alderson told Heyman that he, Boras and Harvey were on the same page through most of the winter and spring. However, at some point this past summer, Boras e-mailed the Mets with a new plan targeting less innings than initially recommended.
Matthew Cerrone: This reeks of damage control, or someone trying to get out in front of a story. And, if I had to guess, I'd say it's Boras. Why? Because, when the Mets decide to let Harvey blow by his innings limit - because this is a golden opportunity to win a championship - and if Harvey gets hurt - Boras is on record for his other clients to see he supported the doctor and tried to keep his client healthy. Of course, if Harvey doesn't get hurt, the Mets win and he's awesome and gets paid because of it, Boras will still get his cut and no one will remember any of this. Frankly, Boras likely sees this as him protecting his client's best financial interest, and his own financial interest, and that's true. But, in this situation, he wins either way, which is why I'm willing to bet he pitched this story to Heyman, because he has nothing to lose.
Why does this matter? Because, as a Mets fan, I'm torn. I so desperately want Harvey to pitch in October and help this team win a World Series. I don't know if the Mets will ever be this good and have this chance again. I mean, SO much can go wrong that it's difficult to not do everything possible to win right now when everything seems so right. And, if I'm right about Boras's motive, this article indicates the Mets are preparing to tell Harvey to go let it rip, go win us a title. At the same time, though, it would be terrible if Harvey gets hurt trying, if he has another injury, the Mets lose and he's out for next season. And, that is a legit possibility if he's pushing himself beyond the point of fatigue.
In the end, Harvey works for the Mets and Boras works for Harvey. So, it's up to the Mets how they want this story to play out. But, in either case, by pitching this story to Heyman, Boras is clearly trying to absolve himself from the outcome, even though he's going to get paid either way...
This was never going to be easy. And, this is probably just the first of what will be a lot of awkward blog posts about the balance between protecting a player, his future and the team's immediate opportunity to win. I mean, just as the Nationals, who three years later are still debating how they handled Stephen Strasburg in a similar situation and whether it cost them their one shot at a championship. Good luck, everyone...
To read Heyman's full article, which you should absolutely do, click here!