Drinks are on Edwin Diaz. At least they were for a few days when he signed a record-breaking contract to return to the New York Mets earlier this month. A $102 million deal with the team makes him the highest paid reliever in MLB history.
It was inevitable. Diaz was so dominant for the Mets. His performance, age, and will from Steve Cohen to win at all costs (literally) helped keep Diaz in blue and orange.
Next is living up to this hefty contract. What must Diaz achieve?
How Mets closer Edwin Diaz can live up to his record-breaking contract
Does Edwin Diaz need to have five more years of a 1.31 ERA? Probably not. He does, though, need to continually put up eye-popping numbers and be as reliable as possible in the ninth inning.
There are obvious boxes for Diaz to check off. He needs to stay healthy. He needs to convert saves. All of this must be done at a level the Mets have never seen before. He has to be so ridiculous good that his 2019 campaign looks like a mistake when we go back and look at those numbers.
He gave up 36 earned runs that year. Diaz has only allowed 38 in the last three seasons combined.
The Mets are paying Diaz to be the best closer in baseball. It’s precisely what they expect out of him and what he needs to do for at least the first three years of the deal in order for us to believe he lived up to it. In those final two years of the deal, someone else can arrive and take his place in the league. For at least those first three years, there must be no doubt. He is the best, whatever that may mean to you.
More importantly, Diaz needs some big achievements centered on the performance of the team. It’s not completely up to him. What Diaz needs is his iconic moment on the mound for the final out of the World Series.
It’s the one requirement for all current Mets players when we ultimately ask the question, “Where they worth it?”
The same is true for Diaz. He can become the best closer in Mets history. Minus a championship, there will be questions. Already, someone is waiting on social media to blast the Mets for signing their star closer. There’s no winning with those people. For you and me, we know better. Diaz lives up to his contract by remaining one of the best. Check your pulse whenever he’s on the mound. The calmer you are, the closer he is to achieving these expectations.