Survey says half of all New York Mets fans are ready for Edwin Diaz’s time in the Big Apple to end. It doesn’t matter what he does in 2022. His first three seasons with the club (three seasons already, wow!) were a mix of good, bad, and unconventionally husband—the polite way of calling something ugly.
Diaz came to the Mets with gigantic expectations in a trade with the Seattle Mariners that the franchise may never live down. Yet to reach those expectations, the 2022 season might be his final opportunity to do so. He’s a free agent and the Mets might want to already start thinking about the future.
The closer spot on any MLB roster is an important one as the last line of defense. If Diaz walks, the Mets will need to fill it with someone. While we don’t yet know what everyone’s contract situation will be, there are three names that stand out most. One is a trade candidate, one is a free agent, and the other is a guy the Mets already have.
NY Mets closer candidate to replace Edwin Diaz: Trade for Josh Hader
Josh Hader is, somehow, not as closer to free agency as I would have guessed. The Milwaukee Brewers lefty has two seasons of control left and the Mets would certainly be a team to get into the market to acquire him.
Hader has been one of the big league’s best relievers since debuting back in 2017. He started saving games for Milwaukee in 2018 and has now compiled 96 of them to go with his 2.26 ERA.
During this time, Hader has had numerous seasons that challenge or surpass what Diaz did in his final year with Seattle. Just last season in 2021, Hader was 4-2 with a 1.23 ERA and 34 saves. Always one to strike batters out, he has a career average of 15.4 strikeouts per nine. It’s one more than Diaz who has impressive numbers of his own at 14.4.
Oddly enough, Diaz’s career ERA is also nearly a full run more than Hader just as his strikeouts per nine is one less. The difference in ERA is much more significant, of course.
To land Hader, the Mets are going to have to pay a steep price. His market will remain immense. And the Brewers aren’t going to just let one of the best ninth inning men slip away for nothing at all.