The World Series just ended and already we’re seeing teams making big moves. The 2022 New York Mets had their best regular season in 34 years, posting a 101-61 record and nearly winning the NL East. Alas, the postseason was a disappointment, with the Mets falling in three games to the San Diego Padres during the NL Wild Card. Still, there’s excitement on the horizon — and the Mets just locked up one of the most important positions in the sport.
Edwin Diaz and the Mets agreed to a five-year, $102 million deal, complete with an opt-out, no-trade clause, and sixth-year option. It’s the first time a closer has signed a nine-figure contract and also the first occasion a closer will earn $20 million or more per season.
Diaz saved 32 games, finishing with 118 strikeouts and an impressive 1.31 ERA in 62 innings. He made $10 million this year, so he’ll more than double his salary starting next season.
The 28-year-old Diaz was one of the top free agents on the market, but the Mets wasted no time securing their closer to a long-term deal. He joined the Mets in December 2018 when the Seattle Mariners traded him and second baseman Robinson Cano in exchange for several prospects.
That season, Diaz had 57 saves, tied for the second-most in MLB history. Yet he couldn’t match the same elite play early on in New York, posting a 5.59 ERA with 58 hits and 15 home runs allowed in 58 innings during his first season with the Mets. As you might expect, the New York crowd showered him with boos.
Diaz has turned things around since then, with his 2022 season his best one yet in the Big Apple. And after his first taste of the postseason, he’ll look to help take the Mets back to the World Series for the first time since the 2015 season. They last won a championship in 1986.
Diaz is already a fan favorite with festive entrance music (“Narco” by Timmy Trumpet). If the Mets win a World Series, the fans in Queens will be dancing even more.