CINCINNATI (AP) — The New York Mets are getting something in return for Matt Harvey.
The Cincinnati Reds acquired the former ace for catcher Devin Mesoraco on Tuesday, shortly before the teams started their game at Great American Ball Park.
The deal provided a fresh start for two former All-Stars whose careers have been sidetracked by injuries.
Mesoraco merely had to walk to the visiting clubhouse. He originally was in Cincinnati’s starting lineup, but was eligible to play right away for the Mets. Third baseman Todd Frazier was put on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, creating a spot for Mesoraco.
Harvey is expected to join the Reds in Los Angeles for the start of a series against the Dodgers on Thursday.
The Reds included $5,788,978 as part of the trade, which made the deal come out nearly even financially. Harvey is making $5,625,000 on a one-year contract. Mesoraco gets $13 million in the final season on a four-year, $28 million deal.
The 29-year-old Harvey was designated for assignment on Saturday, giving the Mets seven days to trade or release him when he refused a demotion to the minors. Harvey was 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA this season.
The Reds were 8-27, matching the worst 35-game start in franchise history, with the rotation their most glaring problem.
They chose not to sign a veteran starter in the offseason, instead relying on their three returning veterans to stay healthy. It didn’t work at all, so they decided to get Harvey for a catcher who had lost his starting job and can become a free agent after the season.
Mesoraco is batting .220 in 18 games with one homer and three RBIs, playing a backup role to Gold Glove winner Tucker Barnhart. The Mets lost starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud to season-ending Tommy John surgery last month.
Harvey was pulled from the Mets’ rotation after four starts and was hit hard in four relief appearances, prompting the Mets to make the move.
Harvey was nicknamed the Dark Knight and started the 2013 All-Star Game on his home mound at Citi Field. He returned from Tommy John surgery in 2015 and helped the Mets reach their first World Series in 15 years.
It was a steep slide the last few years. He fell to 4-10 record with a 4.86 ERA in 2016 and had season-ending surgery in July.
Last year, Harvey went 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA and was sidelined from mid-June until September because of an injury to the scapula in his right shoulder. He also was suspended for three days without pay in early May for skipping a game following a late night on the town.
The 29-year-old Mesoraco also has significantly declined because of injuries since his All-Star season in 2014, when he led all major catchers with 25 homers and 80 RBIs. Hip, shoulder and foot injuries limited him to 95 games over the next three seasons, when he hit only six homers and drove in 17 runs.
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