Harvey will split rehab between NY, Port St Lucie

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - The New York Mets and Matt Harvey have agreed where the pitcher will rehabilitate from elbow ligament-replacement surgery.

General manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday the right-hander will be with the club in New York during homestands and work at the team’s spring training complex in Port St. Lucie when the Mets are on the road.

“About the first of June, when he’s about ready to get on the mound, he will come down to Florida and be here more or less full-time with occasional trips back to New York,” Alderson said. “I think he’s happy with that arrangement. We’re happy with that arrangement. We think it will work well so we’re going to go ahead on that basis.”

New York also announced it paid Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is at spring training with a minor league contract, $100,000 to retain him. The team had to decide by noon whether to inform the pitcher he will make the opening day roster, pay him $100,000 to keep him on a minor league deal or release him.

Since arriving in camp in February, Harvey has been adamant he rehabilitate in New York rather than Port St. Lucie.

The issue of where a player can be directed to rehabilitate arose in 2000, when Carlos Beltran had a bone bruise, the Kansas City Royals ordered him to report for rehab at their spring training facility in Haines City, Fla., and he refused. The Royals suspended him without pay, the players’ association filed a grievance and the case settled without a decision.

The current collective bargaining agreement states “a club may not direct that a player perform prescribed rehabilitation work for an injury at its spring training facility for a period of more than 20 days without the player’s written consent.”

Harvey is represented by Scott Boras, who was Beltran’s agent at the time of the grievance. Harvey went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA last year and was the NL starter in the All-Star game at Citi Field.

New York announced Aug. 26 he had a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, which was repaired by Dr. James Andrews during surgery on Oct. 22. Harvey began throwing a baseball on Feb. 22.

Matsuzaka is competing with Jenrry Mejia to be the Mets fifth starter. Both pitchers are scheduled to throw in exhibition games against the Toronto Blue Jays in Montreal this weekend.

“The competition is still open,” Alderson said. “It doesn’t mean the competition is going to be determined exclusively on those two outings, but we weren’t prepared to make a final decision today. But we did have by today to preserve our right to Dice-K, so we’ve done that. We’ll see what happens over the weekend, but we certainly wanted Dice-K with us.

“We either had to put him on the team today and essentially make him the fifth starter or pay the $100,000. We went with the cash.’”

Matsuzaka would get a $1.5 million, one-year contract if added to the big league roster plus the chance to earn $1.3 million in bonuses based on innings and $500,000 in bonuses based on starts.

Alderson said the team will not considering using Mejia as a reliever. Mejia has said the past two years that he wants to start, not come out of the bullpen.

Notes: LHP Jonathon Niese (elbow inflammation) will start the season on the DL and will be available on April 6. … Reliever Kyle Farnsworth, who was released by the Mets on Sunday, rode on the team bus to Viera and was scheduled to pitch against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, but had not signed a new contract with the club. Alderson expects Farnsworth to be re-signed soon. … Alderson said he expects both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda to make the opening-day roster and said it has not yet been decided who will start.. .. Alderson said CF Juan Lagares is team’s best defensive infielder but has to produce more at the plate. If Lagares is not the team’s starting centerfielder, he likely would start the season in Triple-A Las Vegas.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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