As of this writing, Matt Harvey has thrown 202 innings, 22 more than Scott Boras, his agent, would have liked. He made it no secret that he was against the Mets' decision to let Harvey exceed 180 innings, and publicly blasted the organization.
"Boras went on something of a media blitz, contending that [Dr. James] Andrews had recently recommended that Harvey's innings be capped at 180 for the year -- he is already at 166 1/3 -- and that if the Mets did not abide by the doctor's wishes, they would, in Boras's words, be putting one of their best pitchers in 'peril.'"
A few weeks later, it was revealed that Dr. Andrews had never prescribed an innings limit for Harvey, which ultimately caused Boras' argument to fall apart.
Thankfully for the Mets' playoff hopes, Harvey has not been shut down, and in 12.2 postseason innings, he's posted an ERA of 2.84, an FIP of 2.82, and a K/9 of 11.37. While he's shown no ill-effects of the increase in workload, Boras isn't taking any chances, and according to Jon Heyman, has taken out an insurance policy on Harvey.
"It isn't known how much Harvey is insured for, though suffice it to say that it couldn't possibly cover the $200 million expectation on his talented right arm should he still be pitching like this when he makes it to free agency three years from now. The policy surely pays only a fraction of his earning potential."
While it may sound odd that Harvey can have his elbow insured, it's actually fairly common for professional athletes to take out similar policies. David Beckham had his entire body insured for $195 million, Cristiano Ronaldo had his legs insured for $144 million, and Troy Polamalu even had his hair protected for $1 million.
As Heyman notes, it's highly unlikely that Boras was able to get anything close to $200 million, but at the very least, Harvey can pitch knowing that if he were to get injured and have his career derailed, there's a safety net waiting to catch him. It might seem strange that Boras waited this long to insure Harvey's elbow, but there are likely a couple factors at play for why he waited.
With a full season under his belt after the Tommy John surgery, it's possible that the cost of Harvey's insurance plan is lower. No matter who the recipient is, there's always some level of uncertainty when a player comes back from surgery, and given that Harvey has proved to be healthy, he's less of a risk going forward. It also seems likely that Boras might have been able to secure more money for his client, and that taking out an insurance policy at the beginning of the year, or even earlier simply wouldn't have been the right move financially.
For the immediate future, Harvey is undoubtedly helping his case for a hefty raise next season. In 2015, he earned roughly $614 thousand, but after a stellar regular season campaign, and a lights out postseason thus far, he should do quite nicely in his first arbitration eligible year.