Matt Harvey's Mets career officially ends with trade to Reds

It didn’t take the New York Mets long to find a taker for Matt Harvey. Days after the team’s former ace refused a minor league stint and was designated for assignment, Harvey was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday for catcher Devin Mesoraco.

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The 29-year-old right-hander posted a 6.00 ERA in four starts for the Mets this season. He bottomed out after being demoted to the bullpen on April 21, allowing seven runs in four relief appearances.

How will Matt Harvey fit in with the Reds?

It’s probably too early to know. But given how much Harvey disliked pitching out of the bullpen, there’s a chance the Reds picked him up to be a starter again. It’s unclear who Harvey would replace in the team’s rotation, though he’ll have plenty of options. The Reds rank 30th in starting pitching fWAR this season. Three members of the rotation, Homer Bailey, Brandon Finnegan and Luis Castillo, have ERAs above 5.50.

How will Devin Mesoraco fit in with the Mets?

The Mets have been searching for a replacement at catcher for a few weeks now after losing Travis d’Arnaud for the season, so Mesoraco will get a ton of playing time. That could be dangerous. Mesoraco has a long history of injuries, hasn’t been used in a full-time role sine 2014, and is set to make $13 million in 2018.

Those injuries have wrecked Mesoraco’s effectiveness. He was an All-Star in 2014, but his production has dropped off in recent seasons. Mesoraco, 29, is hitting .220/.289/.341 in 45 plate appearances in 2018.

Matt Harvey was sent to Cincinnati on Tuesday. (AP Photo)
Matt Harvey was sent to Cincinnati on Tuesday. (AP Photo)

Why did Matt Harvey’s relationship fall apart with the Mets?

Harvey’s once promising career has gone into a tailspin over the last three seasons. He was among the game’s most dominant pitchers immediately following his debut in 2012. In 65 starts between 2012-15, he posted a 2.53 ERA. He was a big part of New York’s pennant-winning squad in 2015.

Unfortunately, Harvey was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in October 2013. Though he bounced back impressively during the 2015 campaign, he was never quite the same after pitching beyond agent Scott Boras’ preferred innings limit to help New York get deep into the postseason. In the three seasons since, his ERA ballooned to 5.93.

Harvey’s issues haven’t just been limited to the field during his time in New York. His partying ways have made headlines and raised concerns among Mets officials. Four days before the Mets cut ties, the New York Post’s Page Six published a report that Harvey was seen partying in Los Angeles on a Saturday night before the Mets playing in San Diego on Sunday. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson couldn’t even pretend to be surprised by that news.

Does Matt Harvey have anything left in the tank?

Harvey obviously thinks so. Scott Boras thinks so, too. But they’re seemingly in small company.

Harvey hasn’t shown anything this season that would lead anyone to believe he’s currently a major league pitcher. He’s not only determined to prove that thinking wrong, he’s determined to prove he can succeed as a start pitcher. Time will tell if he’s right, but some time out of the spotlight, where he could refuel and reevaluate where he’s at, might have been his best option.

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