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Matt Harvey, once regarded as a premier pitcher who could join Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden among the Mets' greats, refused a minor-league assignment and will be designated for assignment by NY on Saturday. The decision was made after Harvey declined to accept a minor-league assignment - as he has the ability to do given his MLB service time.

While the Major League Baseball rumors surrounding Matt Harvey are growing already, there is no indication that the New York Yankees are interested, or any other team for that matter. That led to Tommy John surgery on October 22. But ongoing injury problems combined with performance lapses - along with some off-field issues and not-infrequent tension with the organization - led to this moment.

Alderson said the move marks "the end of an era". "This was a long time coming".

The move was made Saturday before NY hosted the Colorado Rockies, just as general manager Sandy Alderson had said.

Just a few weeks after being moved to the bullpen by the New York Mets, Matt Harvey is close to joining another team. A trade could be complicated because of Harvey's $5.6 million salary.

The Mets now have seven days to trade or release Harvey.

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NY had hoped Harvey would be willing to work at the team's minor league complex in Florida in an effort to regain form.

Looking back at the stats, Harvey's peak was much shorter than it seemed. He pitched a one-hit shutout in that start and went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA and a career-high 191 strikeouts that season. He was great in 2015 after a long layoff.

Harvey would have been eligible for free agency after this season. He has never been the same since. Harvey ultimately underwent a procedure to address thoracic outlet syndrome and has dealt with other arm troubles.

Alderson, assistant GM John Ricco, manager Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland met with Harvey at 3:15 p.m. ET Friday and asked him to consider an assignment to the minors. But the former first-rounder's tools not only carry reduced specs, but show ongoing signs of rust.

The 29-year-old right-hander lost his spot in the rotation last month after four starts, and he had a 10.50 ERA in four relief appearances.