You don’t fix one problem by creating a new one. The New York Mets should absolutely not trade Edwin Diaz.
Ever since Diaz has looked less superhuman, frustrated Mets fans have been calling for his head. The trade deadline makes us all say some crazy things. A call to move Diaz is one of those ridiculous ideas. Recently, it has even become an actual idea floated around on the rumor mill.
As bad as the trade with the Seattle Mariners looks right now, the Mets are unlikely to recoup what they lost in the deal. The smarter move would be to go into next season with Diaz as the closer. He has the rest of this season to figure things out and an offseason to work on his issues, too.
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If you’re ready to give up on Diaz already, I understand swaying your opinion is impossible. What’s the alternative, though?
The Mets needed a closer for 2019. Apparently unwilling to spend money on a free agent option, they went out and acquired the best ninth-inning man from 2018. Because the deal came with Robinson Cano and his exponentially large contract, it’s a more complicated trade than most.
Let’s say the Mets do trade Diaz. They could even get a nice haul back and help rebuild the farm system a little further. Then what do they do in 2020 at the closer spot?
In order to find their next closer, the Mets would either spend big dollars in free agency or make a trade. What are they trading to find this closer? Furthermore, who is willing to send theirs packing?
Closers are a unique bunch. From one year to the next, numbers will fluctuate. Don’t get caught up in believing there’s more than one Mariano Rivera. Even some of baseball’s most stupendous closers have had off-years. The 2019 campaign is one for Diaz.
I understand not being happy with how Diaz has performed. I get the desire to find someone else. Let’s look at this realistically. It’s too early to trade him away. Without a definitive replacement already in Flushing, moving on from Diaz at this juncture leaves the Mets in a bind they probably cannot escape.
Sure, free agency has some experienced closers available. With Jeurys Familia already making big dollars (and no, the Mets aren’t going to have a shot at dumping his salary anywhere), it’s unlikely we see this organization pay another many top-dollar to pitch in relief. Seth Lugo is a talented pitcher, but not closer material. The same is true of the other bullpen arms they have.
Diaz needs to stay as the closer for the rest of this year with the plan to keep him there in 2020, too. If he struggles again early, hopefully, there’s a clear backup plan in place.
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Trading him now isn’t about admitting defeat. It’s about making the original trade for him all that much worse when he rebounds in a year and the Mets are left with a carousel at the closer spot.