The Mets wasted no time locking down closer Edwin Díaz, offering him a record-breaking five-year, $102 million contract to stay in Flushing. The deal includes an opt-out and full no-trade clause, along with a sixth-year option.
The contract is the largest ever for a reliever at $16 million more than Aroldis Chapman’s $86 million, five-year deal with the Yankees.
Díaz, 28, made $10 million in 2022 and became a fan-favorite after showing he can handle the pressure of the Big City. The All-Star finished the season with 32 saves, a 1.31 ERA, and 118 strikeouts in 62 innings.
It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows with Díaz, who came to New York in a blockbuster trade with the Mariners in 2018 that sent a package of prospects to Seattle for the closer and veteran Robinson Canó. Díaz led MLB with 57 saves that year, but he struggled early with the Mets. In his first season in New York, he had the seventh worst ERA among relievers at 5.59, conceded 15 home runs, and had a -0.6 bWAR across 58 innings. He finished with a 2-7 record and allowed 36 earned runs.
Fast forward to 2022 and Díaz was back to being the dominant pitcher the Mets traded for. This past season, he had a 3-1 record and allowed just nine earned runs. Díaz became revered in New York. Every time he trotted out of the bullpen to “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet, it was a celebration for Mets fans alike.
The Mets certainly have unfinished business after a disappointing end to the season, which saw the Amazins crumble in September and lose the Wild Card despite winning 101 games. Signing Díaz to this massive contract is hopefully a sign of what’s to come for Steve Cohen and the Mets organization. With so many Mets entering free agency this offseason, inking Díaz this quickly and locking down one of the top free agents before other teams had a chance to talk to him was essential.
The best closer in baseball is staying in Queens. Sound the trumpets!
(Photo: Yahoo!Sports via SNY)
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