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Mets, Reds swap Matt Harvey for Devin Mesoraco

Harvey heads to Cincinnati after being designated for assignment by New York over the weekend.

MLB: New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have traded pitcher Matt Harvey to the Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash, according to a club announcement.

Harvey, who got off to a dismal start (7.00 ERA in 27 innings) for the Mets this year, was designated for assignment over the weekend. New York originally wanted to send him to the minors following his struggles in the bullpen, but he refused that assignment and was cut instead. The Giants, Mariners and Rangers were among the other clubs with reported interest in the righty.

Harvey will join Homer Bailey, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano and Brandon Finnegan in Cincinnati’s rotation mix, with Finnegan the most likely candidate to be relegated to the bullpen. With the Reds already out of contention at 8-27, Harvey is likely to get plenty of chances to raise his stock before his first foray into free agency this winter.

Harvey, 29, owned a career 3.66 ERA and 3.44 FIP in parts of six seasons with the Mets, stringing together two excellent seasons to start his career in 2012 and 2013 and starting the All-Star Game at Citi Field in his second season. He has dealt with both Tommy John surgery and thoracic outlet syndrome since those days of dominance, making only 39 starts since the beginning of 2016 and struggling while on the mound.

Mesoraco, who turns 30 next month, gives the Mets a veteran catching option with Travis d’Arnaud (out for the season after Tommy John surgery) and Kevin Plawecki (out 3-4 weeks with a broken hand) missing significant chunks of time. He’ll join Jose Lobaton and Tomas Nido on the depth chart after hitting just .220/.289/.341 with a homer in 18 games as Tucker Barnhart’s backup so far this year.

Mesoraco, a first-round pick of the Reds in 2007, spent eight years with the club, earning an All-Star appearance in 2014. Injuries have limited him to just 113 games since that campaign, though he did sign a four-year, $28 million deal with the club and will hit free agency after the season.

Mesoraco is owed $13.125 million this year while Harvey is owed $5.625 million, so the cash going from Cincinnati to New York will cover that $7.5 million difference.