Matt Harvey – May 8, 2018
One of the most controversial Mets in recent history, Matt Harvey’s reign with the organization ended on May 8, 2018. After a rocky start to the season followed by his reluctance to accept a demotion, Harvey was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Mets picked up another ex-star, Devin Mesoraco.
Mesoraco’s time at the top of the baseball world was far less than what Harvey experienced. Aside from one All-Star year, he seemed to perform more like a backup than an everyday option. During his time with the Mets, he received praise from Jacob deGrom for his work behind the plate.
Over in Cincinnati, Harvey managed to improve and give the Reds a steady 24 starts. He finished the year at an even 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA. With free agency in his near future, Harvey pitched well enough to earn a one-year deal worth $11 million in the offseason.
The team willing to give him a chance, the Los Angeles Angels, quickly had buyer’s remorse. Harvey made 12 starts for the club in 2019, finishing 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA.
Unlike the Mays or Piazza trades, this one was more about a change of scenery for a pair of players their original teams believed no longer had a role with the squad. The Mets had more than enough starting pitching options. The Reds also favored Tucker Barnhart behind the plate over Mesoraco.
As it turns out, neither player really had a big enough impact on their new team.
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May trades in baseball aren’t common because teams are rarely out of the playoff race that early and willing to sell. However, as Mets history proves, occasionally a big name changes uniforms early on.