Matt Harvey rejected going to the minors for the Mets because he still sees himself as a major league starter and did not think a demotion was the best way to get back into a rotation, his agent, Scott Boras, told The Post.
“They wanted him to pitch in the minors,” Boras said by phone. “We agreed that was not the best situation to work again on a major league level as a starter.”
Boras said he spoke Friday with general manager Sandy Alderson and was part of the process in which Harvey rejected the Mets’ request to go to the minors. Upon that refusal, the Mets chose to designate Harvey for assignment, thus ending the righty’s star-crossed career in Flushing.
The Mets have a seven-day period beginning Sunday to see if they can trade all or part of the approximately $4.625 million he is still owed this year. If that doesn’t occur they could try to outright him to the minors, but as a player with at least five years service time, Harvey can — and will — reject any minor league assignment. At that point, he will be a free agent and able to sign elsewhere for the prorated major league minimum.
Because Harvey has pitched in the bullpen and now will have at least 10 days of inactivity, a new team likely would ask the 29-year-old to make a few minor league starts. Boras explained it was better for Harvey to do that elsewhere than with the Mets.
“Going into a new organization you can map out an approach,” Boras said. “Once you are sent to the minors by the Mets, they have total control of how long you are there. There is no forecast. It is ‘We will see how you do.’ ”
Boras insisted the decision to reject the Mets was not about animus toward the organization, only about what was best for the pitcher’s career. In fact, Boras said Harvey liked new manager Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland.
“Matt has good stuff and is healthy, which is good,” Boras said. “These TOS [thoracic outlet syndrome surgeries] takes time to get your command back. And the bullpen is not the best place for Matt. In a bullpen, you work on two pitches. Matt needs to work on all four. He needs to get back to working on his skill set.”
Harvey had a 7.00 ERA and a .906 OPS against. Yet, Boras insisted when his client had command he was still an effective pitcher and control was the last item that would return after surgery.
“The guy got in great shape,” Boras said. “He was doing all he can do. His velocity was back and he was working hard. He is not effective yet. The Mets felt for their particular needs he need to be put in the bullpen. I just feel with a starting pitcher, particularly in Matt Harvey’s need to feel to pitch, it is important he start.”
As for whether the recent Page Six revelation that Harvey went to Los Angeles for a restaurant opening while the Mets were in San Diego with a night game the next day was a last straw that led the team to move on from Harvey, Boras said: “I don’t know anything about that. None of that was ever discussed. The guy showed up on time and does his work. The club never contacted me about that.”
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