The Cincinnati Reds acquired longtime New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey in a trade Tuesday, and they took a great gamble in doing so.
The end of Matt Harvey in a New York Mets uniform finally came on Tuesday, as the former ace was traded to the Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco. This was a very smart move for the Reds for a few reasons, even though Harvey is likely never to regain his form of many moons ago.
The last time Harvey was anything approaching a major league caliber pitcher was 2015. Obviously, that’s a long time ago. Why would the Reds bother with him at this juncture of his career?
The answer is simple, astutely pointed out by Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports:-
Sure, it’s not likely that Harvey ever gets back to what he was. After all, he hasn’t had an ERA under 4.86 the past two full seasons, and he’s sitting at a whopping 7.00 right now. Still, the allure of the arm talent of Harvey will remain until he’s no longer an active player. Some team out there will believe that with some type of mechanical tweak or a change in philosophy, he can be a quality starter again. Teams will look past the fact Harvey has appeared in just 44 games since the start of 2016.
Besides that, the Reds didn’t give away much. No offense to Devin Mesoraco, but his career has been derailed by injuries. He was an All-Star catcher in 2014 when he hit 25 home runs. Since then, he’s spent more time off the field than on due to chronic injuries. The fact that the Mets wanted Mesoraco speaks to how badly they wanted Harvey out. Imagine if the Reds trade Harvey at the deadline for a prospect that contributes to the big league squad. That move would be hailed as a smart move for years to come. If Harvey continues to flame out, the Reds lost nothing but a backup catcher.
This messy divorce has been obvious for a couple seasons now. Harvey certainly shoulders blame for how things ended in New York. That said, a fresh start could do wonders for him. The Reds really lost nothing of value to take a stab at a pitcher who used to be one of the best in the game. Should they come close to “fixing” Harvey, this is a slam dunk trade by the Reds, who continue to rebuild for the future.