Alderson: Mets' 2014 story not Harvey

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- General manager Sandy Alderson said it is not the goal of the New York Mets to have ace Matt Harvey appear in the majors in 2014.

Still, with Harvey having expressed hope of pitching this upcoming season, Alderson did not fully quash the idea.

Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22. There typically is a 12-month rehab time, although pitchers occasionally have been known to come back more quickly.

"Each of these injuries is different," Alderson said Thursday, as a large contingent of players participated in a voluntary workout at the team's Florida complex. "Each player is different. The return time can be very different. But that's not our goal."

Harvey has expressed hope of throwing a baseball in nine days, on the four-month anniversary of the procedure. Alderson said there was no guarantee that would occur. "There's no update on that," the GM said.

Alderson then attempted to discourage Harvey being a camp topic at all, considering he is unlikely to contribute at any point this season. Harvey is not eligible for free agency until after the 2018 season, so the Mets have to think about his value over the ensuing four seasons and potentially beyond rather than just this year.

"We're all interested in Matt's progress, obviously. But we don't intend it to be a story line every time he decides to throw 40 pitches," Alderson said. "And I know he's anxious to get back and wants to get back ready to go in September, and that's fine.

"But we have an identity of interest with him, and that is his long-term value to himself as a player and to us as a player. We're going to focus on his rehab with that in mind. At the same time, we don't want it to be an overriding story line for this year. Obviously there is interest in it, but you won't find me promoting it.

"The thing that maybe I should try to make clear at the very outset of this camp is that the story for 2014 is not Matt Harvey," Alderson said. "The story for 2014 will be the other 25 players that we have active."