The Reds Have Acquired Former Mets Star Right-Hander Matt Harvey

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The Reds Have Acquired Former Mets Star Right-Hander Matt Harvey

Chicago Cubs

Another post? Why not.

Just a few moments ago, the Cincinnati Reds announced that they’ve acquired former Mets ace – and current lottery ticket/reclamation project – Matt Harvey in exchange for back-up catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash. In Mesoraco’s place, the Reds have called up catcher Tony Cruz.

Here’s the official announcement:

If you recall, the Mets designated Harvey for assignment back on May 4 (after he refused to go to the Minors), which means they had until the 11th to trade, waive, or release Harvey. After a series of rumors from rebuilding clubs here and there (why not, right?), I felt pretty confident something would get done and here we are.

Before we get into the performance stuff, it’s worth pointing out the money situation here:

Basically, there’s no salary/payroll impact for either team.

Now, as for the pickup … I don’t hate it. This is precisely the type of thing the Cubs would (and have recently) have done in the past – i.e. targeting former top pitchers going through some struggles, looking for a change of scenery, etc. – so I get it. Though, it is fair to say that Harvey is one of the most extreme examples of that.

During his best season (2013), Harvey was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, earning a 2.27 ERA with an even better 2.00 FIP and 6.5 fWAR. Harvey sat out the 2014 season, but bounced back and had a 4.4 fWAR season after in 2015. Let’s not rehash his October heroics, for our own mental health.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

But after undergoing season-ending surgery back in 2016 (to resolve a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome), he’s never been the same. Injury issues spiraled into pitching issues, which spiraled into some disagreements with the club, and so on (you know the story). This year, the Mets gave him another chance in the rotation, before forcing him into the bullpen, before finally giving up. It’s the end of an era, no doubt, but hopefully the start of something new for Harvey – or at least that’s what I would’ve said had he not landed in the NL Central.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m suddenly nervous that Harvey will turn the Reds dreadful 2018 season around (if he is, indeed, heading directly into their rotation), it’s just that the Reds have a (potentially) shiny new asset to utilize. They might even have a leg up on re-signing Harvey if he were to show some progress and life in a new organization with new coaches and trainers, etc. Indeed, if he’s successful there, you can almost guarantee he’ll want to stay, not only because of comfort, but also because of the loaded impending free agent market (lots of competition) and the insane market implosion last year (where even healthy, already-cruising guys didn’t get what they were worth). And if that’s not a possibility, because Harvey is a free agent after the season, the Reds could flip him to a contender before the non-waiver or waiver trade deadline at the end of July or August.

But, again, this isn’t that big of a concern right now (and neither are the Reds, even if Harvey was suddenly great). So that’s the news for now, I’m sure Brett will have more to say on this some other time.

Luis Medina contributed to this post.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami