MLB Trade: Mets ship Matt Harvey to Reds in exchange for Devin Mesoraco
The Mets get a much needed catcher and the Reds get a reclamation project starter
Matt Harvey's time in New York is officially over.
Interestingly enough, the Mets are currently in Cincinnati for a three-game series. Mesoraco simply has to change dugouts. Harvey,, will join the Reds in the coming days, the team says.
Simply put, this is a sunk cost for sunk cost trade. Both Harvey and Mesoraco are former top prospects who have been hurt and ineffective in recent years, and their teams owed them big salaries anyway, so they shuffled things around. The Reds had some depth at catcher and needed pitching while the Mets had a spare arm and needed catching with Travis d'Arnaud (Tommy John surgery) and Kevin Plawecki (broken hand) injured.
The money, not surprisingly, is a wash. Neither team is shedding salary here. They're just spending the money on a different player.
At first glance, it would appear the Reds are not a great fit for Harvey. They're a non-contending team that plays in a small ballpark, and, frankly, they haven't had much success developing pitching in recent years. Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes, however. The Reds can run Harvey out there every fifth day without worrying about wins and losses.
The 29-year-old Harvey had a 7.00 ERA in 27 innings across four starts and four relief appearances before being designated for assignment last week. Since returning from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery last year, Harvey has a 6.77 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP in 119.2 innings. He hasn't been an ace-caliber pitcher since 2015.
As for Mesoraco, he gets to join a Mets team that is expected to be in the postseason race, and he'll be able to get the majority of the playing time behind the plate while d'Arnaud and Plawecki are out. New York had been using Jose Lobaton (.521 OPS) and Tomas Nido (.371 OPS) at catcher since d'Arnaud and Plawecki got hurt.
Mesoraco, also 29, was limited to 95 total games from 2015-17 by various injuries. He's hitting .220/.289/.341 with one home run in 45 plate appearances as Tucker Barnhart's backup so far this year. Back in 2014, Mesoraco swatted 25 home runs and was an All-Star. Similar to Harvey, injuries have sabotaged his career.
Both Harvey and Mesoraco will be free agents after the season, so there are no long-term strings attached. This is two teams fillings needs by swapping reclamation projects. Perhaps Harvey and/or Mesoraco play well enough that their new teams consider re-signing them after the season. That's a few months away though.
Assuming he is still with the Reds, Harvey will make his first trip to Citi Field as a visiting player later this year, from August 6-8.
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