Matt Harvey may be gone for a full year. David Wright is on the disabled list. Marlon Byrd and John Buck have been traded, and the Mets have a very steep climb to finish .500, which seems very unlikely to happen.
So, now what?
“The successful teams, the successful organizations, respond to these setbacks,” Sandy Alderson said Tuesday, when addressing the media about Harvey, Buck and Byrd. “That’s exactly what we have to do.”
The way I understand it from team insiders, the front office is in a holding pattern until they know exactly what Harvey intends to do. Tommy John surgery will likely mean one off-season approach, while not having surgery will mean something totally different. In other words, if Harvey can be ready for Spring Training, pitching prospects will get traded for a hitter; but they will not be traded if he has surgery. In the event Sandy Alderson holds on to his most expendable, young pitchers, he has no choice but to acquire offense through free agency...
In the event Harvey misses all of 2014, who replaces him in the rotation? Is this an opportunity to try and bring back Johan Santana for a year? There are rumors that free-agent-to-be Tim Lincecum may opt for a short-term deal, in which case he should be considered by Alderson, as well. In either case, regardless of Harvey's condition, I see no evidence that Alderson would ever give a significant long-term, second-generation contract to a veteran pitcher, such as Ervin Santana or Matt Garza, both of whom are likely to be free agents.
I recall hearing in late July that Alderson had been considering a total re-shuffle of his lineup, thus trading "mid-tier hitting," such as Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy, for more pitching, while using free agent dollars to acquire a new offense.
Remember, the model has become dominant pitching, a consistent closer, strong defense and a constantly changing, as needed, group of hitters and middle relievers. So, maybe we're about to see the official the start of this approach...
Yesterday, I wrote about Harvey’s injury should impact spending, which you can read here. Earlier today I wrote about the injury might impact the future of Terry Collins, which you can read here.