After winning the most games in franchise history since 1986, the Mets walked away from 2022 empty-handed. However, the season proved they are winners with their All-Star reliever.
Cue the trumpets — Edwin Díaz is staying in Queens for a record-breaking price.
On Nov. 5, the New York Mets signed Díaz to a five-year, $102 million contract — the first-ever $100 million-plus contract for a reliever. The $102 million contract eclipses Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman’s then-record deal for a relief pitcher ($86 million). Díaz, who made $10 million this year, finished with 32 saves, 118 strikeouts, and a 1.31 ERA in 2022.
Keeping Díaz in New York is absolutely massive, and saves some face for former general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. Though Brodie’s time with the Mets is viewed as a colossal failure, trading for Díaz was a major move — even if the Mets owe Robinson Cano, who’s no longer with the team, $20.25 million in 2023.
Let’s revisit the 2018 Mets-Mariners Edwin Díaz trade and explore in detail how New York remains far and away the biggest beneficiary.
Click here to get the full details on Díaz’s contract extension with the Mets.
Edwin Díaz Trade Details
- RP Edwin Díaz
- 2B Robinson Canó
- OF Jarred Kelenic
- SP Justin Dunn
- OF/DH Jay Bruce
- RP Anthony Swarzak
- RP Gerson Bautista
At the time of the trade, Díaz was only 24 years old and already one of the best closers in baseball. The catch? The Mets needed to take on Canó’s contract, which had five years and $120 million remaining. Not to mention, Canó had just served a suspension for testing positive for a banned substance the year prior. The Mets dropped him this past season and he’s on the books through 2023.
Money aside, the Mets came out winners here. Swarzak and Bruce played in Seattle for a half-season, while Bautista pitched nine total innings in 2019 and is now in the Mexican League. Kelenic — once considered one of the top prospects in baseball — is the only piece left on that side of the trade and he’s batted a putrid .168 in the past two seasons.
The Mets still have a ton of work to do. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom recently opted out of his contract and officially hits the free agent market. The No. 3 man after deGrom and Max Scherzer — Taijuan Walker — also opted out of his deal.
Other 2023 Mets Free Agents
- Brandon Nimmo
- Tommy Hunter
- Seth Lugo
- Trevor May
- Tyler Naquin
- Adam Ottavino
- Joely Rodríguez
- Trevor Williams
Despite owner Steve Cohen reiterating that he’ll spend whatever it takes to build a winning club, the Mets’ projected luxury tax payroll for 2023 is $203,391,666 — the highest in MLB. They currently have $166 million on the books for 2023, the second-most in the league after the Phillies ($172 million).
Things have seemingly gotten better for the Mets since Cohen bought the team, but they still have nothing to show for it. However, at the very least, they kept Edwin Díaz and can say they actually won something — a trade from 2018.
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