The New York Mets gave closer Edwin Diaz a small bump in salary for 2019. The bigger deal he wanted will have to wait until, at the earliest, next year.
New York could have paid him the league minimum of $550, but decided to give him a relatively small (in baseball terms) boost to what he will earn.
Diaz was the last non-arbitration eligible player on the Mets’ 40-man roster with a financial decision to make. The deadline isn’t until next week yet getting the deal done a few days earlier will at least destroy some possibilities of “animosity.”
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As Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported, there isn’t any serious friction between the two sides even though they failed to reach an agreement on a deal. Instead, he’s simply renewed like a library book and will earn a decent living in his final season before allowing the arbitration process to help him out.
Last year, Diaz saved 57 games for the Seattle Mariners and finished 8th in the Cy Young vote. He is, without a doubt, one of the best closers in baseball. So, to pay him a little extra one year early, might go a long way toward getting on his good side.
The Mets didn’t need to shell out the extra dough and I don’t blame them one bit for it. In a winter where everyone has a reason to criticize this front office for its cheap spending, this is one move I don’t think we can really judge them on. They still did give Diaz a raise; just not the one he earned with the Mariners last year.
Diaz will need to show the Mets’ front office what he can do before becoming eligible for any “Who Wants to Date a Millionaire?” type reality shows. Next season should be the one where he reaches seven-figures. Until then, he’ll have to hold off on buying any new sports cars.
Over the next four years, it’s important the Mets build a solid relationship with Diaz. This first negotiation may not have gone his way. However, as his agent noted, baseball is a business.
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Before the Mets fully buy into a large investment, he’ll need to shine on the Citi Field mound for at least one season.