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Mets re-sign star closer Edwin Diaz to a 5-year deal

Edwin Diaz
New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz celebrates after striking out Atlanta Braves’ Matt Olson during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

The early stages of Major League Baseball free agency kicked off in a big way with the New York Mets re-signing star closer Edwin Diaz to a five-year, $102 million contract.  

As Jeff Passan reported on Sunday evening, this contract is the first nine-figure contract ever for a closer, and it’s also the first time a closer will make $20 million-plus per season, so it’s a big commitment that the Mets are making, but one that they obviously felt was crucial. 

It’s easy to see why they felt the need to go big to lock up Diaz. Last season, at 28 years old, Diaz had 32 saves in 61 appearances. He pitched 62 innings in total, racking up 118 strikeouts with a 1.31 ERA and 0.839 WHIP. It was exactly the type of season the Mets dreamed about when they traded prized prospect Jared Kelenic for Diaz before the 2019 season. 

Keeping Diaz was especially important given the losses New York could suffer to their bullpen this offseason. 

New York’s bullpen finished 10th in the majors in ERA, but three of their other top relievers in innings pitched (Adam Ottavino, Seth Lugo, and Trevor Williams) became free agents on Sunday. That doesn’t mean they are definitely headed elsewhere, but it does mean that Diaz was the first a few holes the Mets need to fill in their bullpen. 

Although MLB free agency doesn’t officially begin until November 10th, New York was able to re-sign Diaz due to the exclusive rights negotiating period. As of 9 a.m. ET on Sunday, all eligible players became free agents, and the first five days of the offseason are an exclusive negotiating period in which players negotiate deals with their previous team. 

That means New York might not be done in this early stage of free agency. Bringing back Diaz is a huge victory and a great way to start the off-season, but Mets fans will be refreshing their feeds relentlessly over the next few days for any news on Jacob deGrom and Chris Bassitt, who are expected to opt-out of their contracts. 

Brandon Nimmo is also a free agent and could be re-signed before November 10th, so the Mets may just be getting started. 

For more Mets coverage, like this Edwin Diaz story, visit amNY Sports

Edwin Diaz Mets
New York relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) reacts as he walks off the field during the eighth inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series against the San Diego Padres, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

 

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