The Edwin Diaz injury will stay front-of-mind for many New York Mets fans, maybe all year depending on what David Robertson and anyone else they put in the closer role does. The timing of the injury was unfortunate. Taking place a little over two weeks before Opening Day on the Ides of March, any trade the Mets could make to replace him would be a drastic overpay.
Many of the reasonable and satisfying options have either recently signed new contracts or would cost the Mets far more now than they would later on. Plus, with the closer experience Robertson has, why get too nuts and subtract before we know it’s a serious problem?
What the Mets need to do instead of overpaying for a closer in a trade
The Mets are going to add someone to the mix. Zack Britton? A trade candidate we haven’t considered?
Concerns about the health of Mets pitchers goes beyond Diaz at the moment. The team is quickly loading up the IL with relievers. Their depth is shook beyond belief with zero games in the rearview mirror.
The waiver wire is an often overlooked place where the Mets can find some lesser assistance. We move Robertson up the depth chart to the closer role then ask Drew Smith and John Curtiss to wear their biggest of big boy pants for as long as it takes. Adding Tommy Hunter to the Opening Day roster and draining any innings he has left in him would provide the team with yet another option to ease our pain. The club already picked up Dennis Santana off waivers. He shouldn't be the last one they think about.
If this injury happened just a little sooner, a reunion with Brad Hand wouldn’t have been outrageous. He signed with the Colorado Rockies back on March 4 for only $1.5 million this season and a team option for $7 million next year. Will Smith signed for the same $1.5 million the same day to join the Texas Rangers. A little less successful in the closer role of late, he could’ve provided the team with a cheap back-of-the-bullpen option and second lefty arm.
Opening Day is less than two weeks away. And although major trades can and have happened like when Craig Kimbrel went from the Atlanta Braves to the San Diego Padres on April 5, 2015, we shouldn’t be sold on the Mets pulling off something of that scale.