Struggling Mets pitcher has a vesting option for 2025 to avoid at all costs

There is no chance the Mets can let the option vest for 2025.
Jun 16, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jake Diekman (30) reacts after leaving the game during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jake Diekman (30) reacts after leaving the game during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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Paying a player $4 million is nothing to Steve Cohen. Paying a player like Jake Diekman $4 million becomes outrageous no matter how much money the owner of the New York Mets has. With the year he’s having, the 2025 vesting option for another $4 million needs to be avoided at all costs.

When it comes to vesting options for pitchers, the criteria is usually games played or innings. Diekman, as a lefty who typically plays in more games than innings he pitches, will need to reach 58 games in order to guarantee a contract for next season. He is on pace to do so. Despite throwing only 26.2 innings this season, he has already shown up for 37 Mets games.

Put yourself on DFA watch. There isn’t a chance the Mets let him appear in another 21 games.

The countdown begins for the Mets to use their “get out of jail free card” with Jake Diekman

Diekman is such a tremendously limited reliever you’d swear by the way he was being used the three-batter minimum rule wasn’t in place. Getting three outs is a major accomplishment for him. Facing more than four batters is unachievable.

The last time Diekman faced more than 4 batters was on May 16 in a save against the Philadelphia Phillies when he pitched the 11th inning. It came out of necessity.

Carlos Mendoza has been incredibly careful with Diekman. Lately, as the lefty has struggled, he has tried to set him up for success. It’s not working, though. Diekman is best used as a seat filler on the team plane to the next city.

The big pet peeve with Diekman has been the walks. Even against lefties who’ve been held to only a .159 batting average against him have walked 10 times versus 12 strikeouts.  He has even hit a pair in those 58 plate appearances.

The Diekman contract has the trapdoor to escape from. It’s a good thing because otherwise it would draw some closer comparisons to the unneeded player option the Mets handed to Omar Narvaez when they signed him prior to the 2023 season. The worst thing that could happen there did happen. Narvaez wasn’t able to give the Mets anything offensively in his time with the Mets. Unable to keep up with the rule changes, his complete lack of ability at throwing out runners guaranteed his execution from the roster.

How does it all end with Diekman? His trade value is cratering because of the walks and increase in home runs allowed. Even if he somehow makes it past the trade deadline on the Mets roster, it would be wasteful to allow him to reach 58 games. This vesting option only adds to the lack of interest teams should have in him as a trade deadline option. In small doses, Diekman can work. Unfortunately for him and even the Mets, the superb 50 game stretch with the Tampa Bay Rays last season was short-lived.

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