Getting used to a new environment is tough for anyone. Being traded to New York for a highly touted prospect is another. Such was the case for New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz. In 2019, Díaz was traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Mets in a deal that has become infamous. New York dealt away Jarred Kelenic for the All-Star closer in the hopes he can solidify the position. The Mets’ closer role is one of the most polarizing in team history. You have your beloved closers such as Tug McGraw, Jesse Orosco, and John Franco. Then hated closers such as Francisco Rodríguez, Armando Benitez, and Braden Looper. Díaz has experienced all of it.
Edwin Diaz’s Time as a Met
2019 saw Díaz have his worst season in his career with seven blown saves and a 5.68 ERA. Many wondered if Díaz could rebound from 2019 and Mets fans and the New York media questioned whether he was the guy moving forward. Not only did he prove he’s still one of the best closers in the game, but he is now a baseball sensation. From 2020-2022, Díaz recorded 70 saves in 150.1 innings, striking out 257 batters with a 2.27 ERA. His walk-up song, Narco by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpets, became the Mets fans’ version of Enter Sandman across town. His 2022 was one for the ages.
Owner Steve Cohen rewarded his closer with a $5-year deal worth up to $102 million in the offseason. Disaster would then strike as he tore his patellar tendon after Puerto Rico defeated The Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic
Edwin Diaz had to be helped off the field after suffering an apparent leg injury in Puerto Rico's celebration following their victory over the Dominican Republic. pic.twitter.com/i6g7sjRhYn— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 16, 2023
The Risk of Pitching Edwin Díaz in 2023
After the unfortunate Edwin Diaz injury, the original thought was that Díaz would miss the year. However, he has progressed well and there is a chance he might pitch in September at the latest, but the Mets are in no position to do so. If the Mets were winning, bringing back Díaz would be a no-brainer but New York currently sits at 4th place in the National League East and just traded Eduardo Escobar. With possibly more trades on the horizon. With all that in mind, is it really worth it to pitch their All-Star hurler no matter how late in the season it would be? The Mets have looked lethargic for most of the season and trotting out Edwin Díaz in meaningless games just coming off of an injury isn’t ideal. Yes, it will be fun for the Citi Field faithful to hear Timmy Trumpets in 2023, but there’s no purpose for it at this point. Except maybe to sell some tickets to wait for the 9th inning.
There’s also always the possibility that Díaz reaggravates his injury. It’s in the Mets’ best interest to not take that chance and put his 2024 season in jeopardy. 2024 looks to be the biggest year in the Cohen era, so they’ll need everybody ready to go. Things could change if the Mets do turn their year around and Díaz pitches in meaningful games, but that is a tall task as of now. Until things do change, the Mets should let Díaz rehab and be ready for Spring Training next year.
Main photo credits:
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports