PORT ST. LUCIE â€” Matt Harvey is willing to listen to any long-term offer the Mets want to make him. The righthander said Monday that he has never ruled out signing an extension, but heâ€™s never heard from them.
â€œIâ€™ve never shied away from it, I never said I wouldnâ€™t consider it,â€ said Harvey, who arrived at the Metsâ€™ spring training complex Monday for voluntary workouts. â€œI havenâ€™t heard anything about that.â€
This offseason was the first year Harvey was arbitration eligible, a time that teams look to lock up the arbitration and perhaps some free-agent years for a top player. His agent, Scott Boras, said this winter the Mets had never reached out to him about possibly of doing a multi-year extension with Harvey.
The Mets declined to comment on Harveyâ€™s comment that they had not talked to him about an extension.
Under the Metsâ€™ control until after the 2018 season, Harvey is currently on a one-year, $ 4.325 million deal that will be re-negotiated heading into next season.
Boras has a reputation of taking his clients to free agency and getting them huge contracts.
Harvey went on the record in a 2013 magazine article that he is looking for a very big contract, â€œthat $ 200 million contract.â€
That has led to the assumption that Harvey would likely never sign an extension with the Mets and instead bolt when he is a free agent after the 2018 season. It is also behind the talk that the Mets will look to trade him before he walks.
Monday, however, it was hard not to notice that Harvey was exactly where he wanted to be. He hugged catcher Kevin Plawecki and joked around with David Wright as the team ran.
And Monday after the workout he was excited and confident about the 2016 season. He was driven this winter by the disappointment of the 2015 World Series loss to the Royals.
â€œIt is something that motivates you, drives you going into the next year, instead of dwelling on what happened and trying change something you canâ€™t, you use that toward motivation in the offseason,â€ Harvey said. â€œGetting the body ready, your mind ready toward a long season and getting back to where you want to be. We have lot of confidence this year, knowledge from last year and experience. We are excited about getting back to where we want to be.â€
That moment walking off the mound at Citi Field after giving up a key hit to Eric Hosmer during the Royalsâ€™ ninth-inning, Game 5 rally was as tough as he has had in baseball.
But Harvey does not regret talking his way back out there for the ninth inning.
â€œObviously, if I went back, Iâ€™d throw a different pitch,â€ Harvey said of that slider Hosmer hit. â€œEverybody wishes they could go back at some point and change things.
â€œI am always going to want the ball as much as the next guy,â€ Harvey said. â€œBut weâ€™re excited to be back and to start the new year.â€
After making it to the World Series, there is definitely a different buzz as the Mets report to spring training. Players have been talking about the expectations that are now on them to defend their NL pennant and, as their manager Terry Collins put it, â€œfinish the job.â€
Harvey loves the expectations and actually sees it differently.
â€œWe definitely have a lot of confidence,â€ Harvey said. â€œExpectations, if you turn them in the right way should be confidence in us.
â€œObviously we have Zack (Wheeler) coming back at some point in the year (from March 2015 Tommy John surgery), all of us are healthy and ready to go,â€ Harvey said. â€œWeâ€™ve learned a lot from the past year, the experiences through the playoffs and a full season together.
â€œSo, now, itâ€™s fun being here at spring training with all these guys,â€ Harvey said. â€œAnd we are confident and excited about the season.â€Â
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