Matt Harvey’s fall from stardom has been sudden and disappointing at the same time. His career with the New York Mets was a lot of things. It was great at points, but recently it has been filled with subpar pitching performances and scandal.
It became apparent that Harvey needed to get off the team somehow, someway. On Tuesday, that finally happened. Harvey was dealt from the big apple to the Cincinnati Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash considerations.
The trade comes shortly after Harvey was designated for assignment by New York, and it looks like it could be a win-win scenario for both the Reds and Mets.
The Mets started the season off hot, but have been terrible of late going 2-8 in their last 10 games. The Harvey drama probably did not help them get off that skid either so moving him now and ridding the team of some negative energy could potentially help. To go along with that, adding catcher Devin Mesoraco could also benefit the team this season.
Mesoraco is a capable MLB catcher, but his career has been filled with injuries and inconsistency. He has only played over 100 games twice in his career, but one of these seasons (2014) he hit 25 homers, knocked in 80, and hit .273. For a catcher in this day and age, that is really good. The issue is that was four years ago and since that year, he has only played in 114 games.
Like I said, Mesoraco got injured a lot, and that pushed him behind Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart on the depth chart. With Barnhart playing great defense (he won a Gold Glove in 2017), Mesoraco, and his $13 million dollar 2018 salary became expendable.
Mesoraco has showed the talent to be a good major league catcher and could very well be an upgrade for the Mets over 33-year-old backup Jose Lobaton. Mesoraco is a free agent after this year too, so the Mets won’t be on the hook for anymore salary past 2018.
As for Cincinnati, they were able to get a pitcher with enormous potential. Harvey used to be one of the best pitchers in the game, and putting him in Cincinnati where the limelight is limited, Harvey could get back on track. He has not been good since 2015, sporting a 5.93 ERA since the end of that year.
The 29-year-old Harvey is only making around $5.5 million this year and will be a free agent along with Mesoraco this offseason. The Reds have nothing to lose taking on Harvey’s relatively low salary, especially when they are expected to be one of the worst teams in the league this year (evident because of their 9-27 record).
Who knows if it is their plan to keep Harvey past this year, but having him in Cincinnati for almost the whole year could persuade him.
I am not too concerned with the drama surrounding Harvey because the night life in New York is much different than Cincinnati. Even if his time in Cincy starts to sour, the Reds could just cut him like the Mets did.
Both teams are making risks. The Mets are paying a decent chunk for a high-ceiling, low-floor player, while the Reds are taking on a pitcher who can be a stud, but has turmoil constantly surrounding him. If the trade ends up not helping either team, it really won’t matter with them headed to free-agency after the year. There are no-long term commitments and both teams could really end up benefitting from the move.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)