In the past week, there has been growing speculation that the Boston Red Sox could make a play for New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey. Boston is reportedly in need of an ace and newly installed President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is said to favor hard-throwing pitchers.
Rumors surrounding Matt Harvey's possible trade began when the innings limit issue surfaced early last month. However, the Mets starter blew off the limit and has pitched successfully for his team ever since. So the question that lingers is whether New York will still be trading him in the offseason.
CBS Sports' John Heyman added fuel to the speculations that the Red Sox are interested in acquiring Harvey. "Some are speculating that Boston could possibly become a player for Matt Harvey. The Red Sox obviously need an ace, as new baseball president Dave Dombrowski loves hard throwers and the Mets could listen (though they say they won't discount) after the late-season controversies," Heyman wrote.
He then added that another factor for Harvey's trade is the fact that he is from Groton, Conn., a known Red Sox territory.
The 26-year-old former seventh overall draft pick has performed quite impressively to date. However, he has come under heavy criticism recently when he said that his Tommy John surgeon gave him an 180-innings cap for this season. He made the statement immediately after the New York Mets said he had no innings cap.
Harvey's move was taken by many fans to mean that he was quitting on his playoff-bound team. He was slapped with more disapproval when he failed to show up for the Mets' practice at Citi Field on Tuesday.
Those factors may reportedly lead to Harvey's possible release. The team has control over the player until 2018. But with Scott Boras as his agent, the pitcher looks unlikely to extend his contract as Boras is known to only allow his clients sign extension deals after hitting free agency, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
On the other hand, Boston may also be looking to move Hanley Ramirez. Following the team's consecutive last-place finishes in the American League East, Dombrowski is said to be planning a major overhaul in strategy.
One of the moves he is expected to implement is to acquire a frontline starter. Fox Sports reports that the team may be digging into the free agent market to accomplish this. Aside from Ramirez, the Red Sox is also said to trade off the third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
"The Red Sox could also look to the trade market to fill this need... Of course, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval both struggled in their first season in Boston, and the team could look to move one or both of them," Fox Sports' Danny Farris wrote on Monday.
However, new details regarding Ramirez' status with the teams suggest otherwise. During the Red Sox' offseason press conference, Dombrowski confirmed that they are relying on shortstop-turned-outfielder Hanley Ramirez to play first base for the next season.
"We're committed to making the effort - and I think he's committed to making the effort - to Hanley at first base. We need to do everything we can to make that work. We're committed to it; I believe he's committed to it; his representatives are committed to it. Will it work? Only time will tell," Dombrowski said.