The New York Mets announced Tuesday night that they have traded starting pitcher Matt Harvey to the Cincinnati Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco.
It will be a simple swap considering the Mets are in Cincinnati in the midst of a three-game series against the Reds.
The move officially brings Harvey's tumultuous six-year career with the Mets to an end, a path that saw him fall from possible franchise savior to pariah due to struggles and behavioral issues in and away from the clubhouse.
After being moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen in an attempt to rejuvenate his career this season, Harvey was unable to contribute in any sort of way to the Mets' pitching staff, accruing a 7.00 ERA in eight appearances this season.
The Mets attempted to move Harvey down to the minors after his brief bullpen stint yielded nothing positive, but the 29-year-old refused, forcing the Mets to designate him for assignment on Saturday. It gave general manager Sandy Alderson seven days to trade Harvey or grant him his outright release.
There was plenty of interest surrounding Harvey over the last few days with the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants also expressing varying levels of interest. The Reds were initially something of an afterthought in the Harvey sweepstakes, though they were in clear need of pitching help as evident in Monday night's game in which rotational ace Homer Bailey was rocked for six runs in four innings of work.
Of Cincinnati's starters, all five have ERA's over 4.00, with Luis Castillo and Brandon Finnegan sporting marks of over 7.00. While Harvey is now an enigma, a change of scenery could help give him a fresh start and help provide some sort of improvement to a team that is one of the worst in Major League Baseball.
As for the Mets, they get some catching help that they so desperately needed as they were relying on Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton to hold down the backstop after Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki went down with injuries. Mesoraco though has been riddled with injury issues over the past three years.
The 29-year-old catcher was an All-Star in 2014, batting .273 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI in 114 games. But he was limited to just 95 games from 2015-2017 and was Cincinnati's backup behind Tucker Barnhart at the start of the 2018 season.
At the end of the day though, this is an MLB-caliber catcher when he's healthy and a clear upgrade from both Lobaton and Nido.