Mets To Re-Sign Edwin Diaz


3:56pm: The option year is worth $20MM, and could take the total value of the contract to six-years, $122MM, per Tim Healey of Newsday. Healey adds that the opt-out comes after the third year of the deal. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic also reports that the deal includes a $12MM signing bonus.

3:44pm: The Diaz deal is complete. Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Diaz has agreed to a five-year, $102MM contract pending a physical. Passan adds that the deal comes with a full no-trade clause and has an option for a sixth year. It also includes an opt-out.

3:39pm: The Mets are on the verge of retaining their All-Star closer, Edwin Diaz, with Bob Nightengale of USA Today reporting the two sides are close to a five-year, $102MM deal. It will be the biggest contract ever for a reliever. The move takes one of the top free agents off the board before free agency has officially opened.

Diaz, 28, was lights out for the Mets in 2022, tossing 62 innings of 1.30 ERA ball. He struck out more than half of the batters he faced, while walking just 7.7% of batters. He gave up just three home runs all year, and converted 32 of his 35 save opportunities. His fastball/slider combo has always been a nightmare for opposition batters, but he leaned far more heavily on his slider in 2022, going to it 58.1% of the time against his usual usage in the mid-30s, and the results were staggering. He led the majors in reliever ERA, strikeout rate and reliever fWAR. The strikeout rate was so dominant it tied Craig Kimbrel’s 2012 effort for the third best strikeout rate of qualified relievers in MLB history. Only Aroldis Chapman’s 52.5% mark in 2014 is better, but that came against an 11.9% walk rate, well above Diaz’s rate this season.

Given Diaz’s historic platform season, it’s hardly surprising he’s commanded a record-breaking deal for a reliever. It shatters Chapman’s previous mark of five-years, $86MM signed with the Yankees in 2016, and it also gives Diaz the highest average annual value for a reliever, with his $20.4MM mark comfortably beating out Liam Hendriks’ previous mark of $18MM.

Though Diaz established himself as the best reliever in baseball this season, the deal does present a fair degree of risk particularly given Diaz’s career as a whole has been something of a roller-coaster. After being drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft by the Mariners, Diaz emerged as powerhouse arm out of Seattle’s bullpen. He averaged a 2.64 ERA over three seasons in Seattle, highlighted by a phenomenal 2018 season that saw him notch 57 saves, while posting a 1.96 ERA and finishing eighth in AL Cy Young voting. That prompted the Mets to acquire him that off-season, sending over their own top prospect Jarred Kelenic and taking on the bulk of Robinson Cano’s hefty contract to get him. That off-season blockbuster also featured Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista.

The deal looked a shocker initially, as Diaz pitched to a 5.59 ERA in his first season in Queens. He maintained his strong strikeout rates, but struggled mightily with the long ball, giving up an average of 2.3 home runs every nine innings. He could have been an outside…



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