Acquiring Edwin Diaz was seen as a big victory for the Mets in the offseason, but the organization correctly understands that now it’s time to trade him.
Robinson Cano made the most headlines for the Mets this offseason, but Edwin Diaz was the star of the team’s trade with the Mariners this winter. The organization hoped he’d be their star closer for years to come. Unfortunately, officials in New York now understand they’re better off trading the 25-year-old closer.
The sad truth in Queens is that the Mets have no hope of reaching the postseason. As of July 27th, they sat 12.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East. Nothing about the way Mickey Callaway’s team has played this season would suggest that New York is set to make a miraculous run to the postseason.
That means the organization needs to start looking towards its future. That’s precisely what the front office is doing. Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are speaking to the Dodgers and other teams looking for bullpen help about what it might take to deal Diaz. Ordinarily a team in New York’s position would be wise to keep a talented 25-year-old, but the fact that Diaz is a bullpen arm must change the team’s calculation.
Relief pitchers are notoriously inconsistent from year-to-year. The fact that Diaz is scuffling to the tune of a 4.81 ERA in his 43 appearances on the season should be a huge red flag for Mets’ officials. There’s no guarantee that his performance is going to bounce back in the future.
Closers are also only valuable to teams that need to win high-leverage games. The Mets don’t have the roster to contend for a playoff berth in the immediate future. That makes Diaz a less important player for New York than teams with legitimate World Series aspirations.
The good news for Mets fans is that teams are still interested in making a trade for Diaz despite his uneven play on the season. That gives the organization a chance to flip him for prospects who can help the team in the future. Adding young talent who can fit into the club’s potential timeline for contention should be the Mets’ top priority this week.