Matt Harvey’s time with the New York Mets has officially come to an end, as he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.
Is Cincinnati the new Gotham? It just might be, as the New York Mets announced Tuesday that they have traded former ace Matt Harvey to the Cincinnati Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco.
We've acquired Devin Mesoraco from Cincinnati for Matt Harvey. In addition, we've placed Todd Frazier on the 10-Day DL, with a left hamstring strain. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, we've transferred Anthony Swarzak to the 60-Day DL.
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 8, 2018
According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the Reds will be paying the balance of Mesoraco’s $13.125 million salary in 2018, while the Mets will pick up the remaining balance of Harvey’s $5.625 million salary.
Source: Reds paying remainder of Mesoraco’s $13.125M salary. Mets paying remainder of Harvey’s $5.625M.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 8, 2018
Both players are eligible to become free agents at the end of the season.
Harvey, 29, had been designated for assignment by the Mets last week. While it was reported that the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers had “mild interest” in swinging a deal for the former Dark Knight, it was Cincinnati that swooped in with an offer the Mets couldn’t turn down.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the Reds can fix what ails Harvey, who, lest we forget, was one of the game’s premier starting pitchers only a few years ago. That, of course, was before injuries to his elbow and shoulder decimated and derailed his once-promising career.
Mesoraco hasn’t exactly been the picture of health himself. An All-Star in 2014, when he hit .273 with 50 extra-base hits (25 home runs), 80 RBI and a .893 OPS, injuries limited him to just 95 games from 2015-17, during which he hit a paltry .191 with a .605 OPS.
His numbers in 2018 aren’t awe-inspiring by any stretch. In 18 games, he’s hitting .220 with three extra-base hits (one home run), three RBI and a .630 OPS.
That said, he makes hard contact a fair amount of the time, and he has produced before. Perhaps Pat Roessler, the Mets hitting coach, can get him to tweak his approach to turn more of those hard-hit balls into hits.
While both the Mets and Reds aren’t getting sure things in this deal, both address areas of need. The Mets have desperately needed an upgrade at catcher since Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki went down with injuries, while the Reds need pitching help.
It’s a low-risk, high-reward deal. Both players could regain their prior form or continue to stink up the joint. We’ll find out soon enough who—if anyone—won this swap.