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Edwin Díaz, Mets Agree to Five-Year, $102 Million Deal
Best closer in the game is locked into Queens long-term...
Image credit: Chris Simon
As first reported by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports and confirmed by Jeff Passan of ESPN, All-Star closer Edwin Díaz and the New York Mets are in agreement on a five-year, $102 million contract, keeping the 28-year-old right-hander in Flushing through his prime years and the Mets with an elite closer locked in for the foreseeable future.
Tim Healey of Newsday kicked in some additional details on the deal (still pending physical):
Following an otherworldly 2022 season in which Díaz posted a 1.31 ERA (0.90 FIP) with 118 strikeouts, 0.84 WHIP, and three home runs over 62 innings pitched, he was set to ride on the crest of the free-agent relief pitching wave. That wave broke quickly.
Apparently, Díaz and the Mets both preferred a two-minute two-step as opposed to the choreographed proceedings that customarily accompany these negotiations.
From the Mets’ standpoint, crossing one of their most pressing offseason tasks off the list early is about as beneficial as it gets. For Díaz, signing the largest contract for a relief pitcher in MLB history (by total value and average annual salary) is a historical, unbelievable personal achievement.
The epitome of a win-win. And oh, how far Díaz has come to reach this summit.
Following his meteoric rise in Seattle, putting up a 1.96 ERA in 2018—his first All-Star nod—after a 3.06 ERA his first two seasons in the majors, the Puerto Rico product made his way to Queens the next winter via the much-heralded trade that sent then-Mets top prospect Jarred Kelenic and a cache of Mets farmhands and roster cogs to the Mariners for Díaz and Robinson Canó.
Canó never reached the potential then-Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen had in mind when he traded for the tainted former star, and his career quietly ended following his second PED suspension. It’s become clearer over the years that Canó was secondary to that Seattle haul.
Image credit: Roberto Carlo
Díaz pitched to a 5.59 ERA with 15 home runs allowed in 2019, his first season in New York. He was utilizing the four-seam slider repertoire that blew hitters away in 2018 and that we’ve become accustomed to since, but it wasn’t all that refined. It was simply an ultra-talented pitcher getting by on ultra-talent.
Since, through his growth as a pitcher and under the tutelage of Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, the fireballing right-hander has budded, blossomed, and bloomed into arguably one of the most dominant closers of his era.
Now, he’s the highest-paid reliever of any era.
More on this and the igniting of MLB’s hot stove through the week!
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