General manager Sandy Alderson told reporters the Mets will designate Harvey for assignment Saturday after he refused a request to go to the minor leagues.
Under MLB rules, a player who is designated for assignment can be traded or placed on waivers within seven days. If any team claims Harvey on waivers, he will be placed on its 40-man roster with the club having the option to put him in the minors or on the big-league team.
Alderson called the move "the end of an era" and acknowledged Harvey's two major surgeries played a significant role in his declining performance.
In a text message to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, Harvey's agent, Scott Boras, is optimistic about his client's future.
"We're very pleased he is healthy and with more-than-needed MLB velo," Boras' text said. "We have a lot of clay to work with to build the starter sculpture.''
Per FanGraphs, Harvey's average fastball velocity of 92.6 mph is the lowest of his career. He's also throwing the pitch more (61.2 percent) than he has since his rookie season (65.4).
Once the toast of a dominant Mets pitching staff, Harvey has been a mess over the past three seasons.
Since the start of 2016, Harvey has posted a 5.93 ERA with 254 hits allowed and 163 strikeouts in 212.1 innings. The 29-year-old has made four relief appearances since being removed from the rotation after his April 19 start against the Atlanta Braves.
Harvey didn't take his demotion well, per MLB.com's Anthony DiComo:
Anthony DiComo @AnthonyDiComo
Matt Harvey laughed audibly when approached by reporters today seeking comment about his bullpen debut. "No chance. Zero chance," he said. Harvey was asked why. "I have nothing to say to you guys," he said. He was asked why not. "I dont [expletive] want to," Harvey replied.
"Everybody should know that we're not just going to hand out starting jobs because you're a starter," Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters.
The Mets drafted Harvey seventh overall in 2010, and he became an instant sensation after his MLB debut in 2012. He had a 2.53 ERA with 449 strikeouts and 333 hits allowed in 65 starts from 2012 through 2015 despite missing all of 2014 after Tommy John surgery.
Despite Harvey's recent struggles, a team in need of a starting pitcher could take a chance that he'll bounce back with a change of scenery. He's still young enough to be an effective arm if a coaching staff can figure out what has gone wrong.