Fresh news in the ongoing Matt Harvey “Dark Knight” Saga: The New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds have just reached an agreement that sends RHP Matt Harvey to Cincinnati in exchange for catcher Devin Mesoraco. The Reds will pay the remainder of Mesoraco’s 13 million dollar contract, and the Mets cover Harvey’s 5 million.
Though these players have different stories, they have some definite similarities. Both players are 29 years old at the time of the trade, and both were drafted in the first round of their respective drafts – Mesoraco in 2007, Harvey in 2010. Both have stayed with the teams who originally drafted them up until now – once viewed as pieces to build around; Harvey as a top of the rotation ace with a wicked arsenal, Mesoraco as a solid catcher with hit skill and power, but neither fully lived up to the hype.
Both have had their careers disrupted by injury – Harvey having Tommy John procedure done in 2014 and then diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in need of season ending surgery in 2016; Mesoraco with left hip surgery in 2015, a torn labrum in 2016, and a fractured foot in 2017.
While it appears that both teams have just parted with disappointing and damaged goods, I believe this is a good trade for all parties:
The Mets have solved 2 major problems in this trade. First, they traded Harvey (whom they were obviously ready to part with) with a few drips of value still attached to his name. Second, they have lost their 2 best catchers to injuries indefinitely; D’Arnaud having Tommy John and Plawecki with a fracture in his catching hand.
The Reds may have gained a headache, but they also gain a power arm, with a glimmer of hope of returning to the pitcher he once was – even if that glimmer is on the fade. Finally, with a record of 8-27 already in a tough NL Central division, the Reds are not considered to be in the playoff picture. This means they can afford to give Harvey a longer leash in the big leagues to see if he can regain any form of his past self.
This can be a good thing for Matt Harvey, too. Not only can he be afforded more playing time, but he leaves the Mets organization for a new team with a new set of expectations; in a town with a more forgiving fan base, and a more realistic set of expectations.
This could quite possibly be the Dark Knights last chance to figure himself out, to leave his self-destructive social life behind, and focus on being a big league ball player. His last chance to be the hero every romantic, like me, is pulling for him to be.
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