MLB News: Mets Completely Blow Up the Free Agent Market With Edwin Diaz Deal

Mets closer Edwin Diaz had a dominant season in 2022, posting a 1.31 ERA with 118 strikeouts in 62 innings and saving 32 of 35 opportunities. He figured to be the top reliever on the free-agent market this offseason, but any teams who were looking at him will need to pivot to Plan B, as he’s staying in New York on a record-breaking contract.

Diaz has had an up-and-down career, or more accurately, an up-and-down-and-up-and-down-and-up-and-down-and-up career, with his seven years in the big leagues marked by excellent performances in even-numbered years and poor performances in odd years. The Mets are banking on that being a numerical fluke rather than an immutable pattern with this contract, the first one in history to guarantee a reliever more than $20 million per year.

The Dodgers had figured to at least kick the tires on Diaz, since their 2022 closer finished the season not just out of the closer role but off the postseason roster. Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily need to go outside the organization, as they could go with a closer-by-committee approach or they could install one of their dominant relievers in that role. But a closer as dominant as Diaz surely would have been intriguing for L.A., although it’s hard to picture them even coming close to what Diaz got from the Mets.

Diaz has averaged about 62 innings per year for the Mets. At that rate, they’ll be paying him about $329,000 per inning over the next five years. He might end up being worth it, but at first glance, this looks like a case of New York owner Steve Cohen sending out a reminder to the baseball world that he has a crap-ton of money and he’s not afraid to throw it around.

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  1. “Completely blow up?” Who writes these headlines? How about “Mets raise stakes for closers. Contract will have pretty much no effect on how much Judge, DeGrom, Turner will get.”

  2. The Dodgers would need to also find a shut-down closer instead of a closer by committee. They already have the set-up guys. With a reputable closer, and a solid BP, they will shortened the game, and eventually lure a quality RH starter. Look what a Hader did to the Dodgers and a Presley for the Astros did!

  3. The market has not blown up. This is about what was expected. Edwin Diaz is the only elite closer on the 2023 FA market.

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