The Trade That Never Was: Matt Harvey For Mookie Betts

The Trade That Never Was: Matt Harvey For Mookie Betts

A player protected, a legacy denied.
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It was the winter of 2013. The Red Sox were fresh off a World Series victory, and the Mets were a rebuilding franchise with their sights set on success in the near future. The Boston rotation needed a bonafide ace, and the Mets lineup needed a contact hitter that could provide a spark at the top of the order.

If there were any two teams that were primed for a swap of offense and pitching, it was New York and Boston, and if there were any two players that were destined for a straight-up trade, they were Matt Harvey and Mookie Betts.

With a stellar lineup already in tow, the Sox were eager to plug up holes in their rotation before the start of the 2014 season, and the Mets had pitching to spare. With prospects like Jacob DeGrom, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard in the pipeline, Matt Harvey was merely an established piece in an up-and-coming rotation. But with Harvey coming off a year where he started the All-Star Game and finished 4th in the Cy Young Award voting, it’s easy to see why the Mets wouldn’t want to deal away the ace of their rotation.

But Boston persisted. At the time, Mookie Betts was the top prospect in the Red Sox farm system, and it would have taken a blockbuster deal for the Mets to budge. With key pieces of the Red Sox rotation like Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester nearing the end of their contracts, it was imperative for Boston to secure an ace if they wanted to stay competitive.

And thus, the table was set: Betts for Harvey, no questions asked. But Sandy Alderson and the Mets refused. The New York front office was hell-bent on keeping their “ace."

Harvey would win the Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2015, posting a 2.71 ERA through 189.1 IP, while later bringing the Mets just three outs away from a potential 6th game of the 2015 World Series. And although Harvey showed shades of brilliance in 2015, his 2016 and 2017 seasons were nothing short of nightmares. With an average ERA of 6.19 over the past three years, Harvey was unable to finish any of the aforementioned seasons with the Mets, suffering injuries in 2016 and ‘17, and of course, being designated for assignment earlier this month.

On the flip side, Boston held on to Mookie Betts, and since the trade was proposed, Betts has become one of the strongest players in all of Major League Baseball, as he’s placed in the voting for MVP each year since his debut. As of today, Mookie Betts is a career .300 hitter, with nearly 100 HRs, and over 330 RBIs.

Five years removed from the “trade that never was," Mookie Betts has become a perennial MVP candidate, while Matt Harvey has tarnished his legacy forever.

Cover Image Credit: Mike Kelly

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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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Listen Up Sports Fans, It's Time To Give The Mets The Attention They Rightfully Deserve

The New York Mets struggled mightily last season, and with new front office management, here's how the Mets are shaping up for next season.

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The New York Mets were at the bottom of the pack in the MLB last season. They look like they are starting to shake things up a lot, but we won't know if that helps until the season starts. Here's how things are shaping up to look.

1. The Mets hired a new General Manager who is very active

The New York Mets recently hired a new General Manager, Brodie Van Wagenen. After his hire, many Mets fan were skeptical of him since he was an agent who represented MLB players and had no general management experience. However, right off the bat (pun intended), Van Wagenen is shaking up the Mets roster with an early offseason trade, and likely several more to come.

2. But hopefully not too active

There is a perfect balance to a general manager's activity level. Too few trades and signings mean the team is likely to do just as poorly as last season, and the fans won't be too happy about that, especially because the fans are from New York. Yikes. On the other hand, too many trades mean that you're inevitably going to trade away a player that you shouldn't have and you'll get next to nothing in return, again leaving New York sports fans angered, and that's something you just never want to do. As per trade rumors regarding the New York Mets, it seems as if the new GM is coming close to pulling off a bad trade surrounding Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, or Amed Rosario.

3. Robinson Cano is a crucial piece to the puzzle for the Mets

The Mets recently acquired all-star second baseman Robinson Cano and arguably the best closing pitcher in baseball last season, Edwin Diaz. While Diaz is a key addition to the roster, Robinson Cano is really the centerpiece. Cano spent many seasons playing for the New York Yankees, so he has experience playing in New York — good experience, too. He was an all-star four out of his eight seasons with the New York Yankees, so he definitely has shown his skill set off in New York.

4. But things could turn sour with Robinson Cano

Last season, Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games for using performance-enhancing drugs. If he did that while playing in Seattle, it would be easy to imagine how quickly things could take a turn for the worse if he is playing in New York.

5. There are still many good free agents to sign

While some free agents like Patrick Corbin have recently been taken off the market, there still remains a large number of quality players who have yet to sign with a team. Perhaps the biggest free agent name in any sport is Bryce Harper. The Mets should make a serious push to sign Bryce Harper which would definitely smooth things over with New York fans if the new GM decides to follow through with that aforementioned bad trade.

6. But time and money are running out

The Mets have little time left to meet with these big free agents since many other teams have already had meetings with Harper and other players like Manny Machado. Additionally, it doesn't help that the Mets only have limited money left to sign players when they still need to focus on resigning some of their own.

The New York Mets have made some very positive changes this offseason, but there are plenty of opportunities for negative changes, too. We'll just have to wait and see how the rest of the offseason goes and pray for a good 2019 season for the New York Mets.

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