3:56pm: The option year is worth $20MM, and could take the total value of the contract to six-years, $122MM, per Tim Healey of Newsday. Healey adds that the opt-out comes after the third year of the deal. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic also reports that the deal includes a $12MM signing bonus.
3:44pm: The Diaz deal is complete. Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Diaz has agreed to a five-year, $102MM contract pending a physical. Passan adds that the deal comes with a full no-trade clause and has an option for a sixth year. It also includes an opt-out.
3:39pm: The Mets are on the verge of retaining their All-Star closer, Edwin Diazwith Bob Nightengale of USA Today reporting the two sides are close to a five-year, $102MM deal. It will be the biggest contract ever for a reliever. The move takes one of the top free agents off the board before free agency has officially opened.
Diaz, 28, was lights out for the Mets in 2022, tossing 62 innings of 1.30 ERA ball. He struck out more than half of the batters he faced, while walking just 7.7% of the batters. He gave up just three home runs all year, and converted 32 of his 35 save opportunities. He led the majors in reliever ERA, strikeout rate and reliever fWAR.
The deal is a record breaking one for a reliever, shattering Aroldis Chapman‘s previous record of five-years, $86MM signed with the Yankees in 2016. Though Diaz established himself as the best reliever in baseball this season, the deal does present a fair degree of risk. Relievers are often volatile and Diaz has been no different over the course of his career. His pitched to a 5.59 ERA in 2019, his first season with the Mets, but followed that up with a 1.75 ERA in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. He was still strong in 2021 without showing his best stuff, pitching to a 3.45 ERA before returning to his dominant best in 2022.
It’s the first move in what could be a busy off-season for the Steve Cohen-backed Mets, particularly in the bullpen. Diaz was set to join Tommy Hunter, Adam Ottavino, Joely Rodriguez, Trevor May, Seth Lugo and Trevor Williams as relievers headed for free agency, while Mychal Givens has a mutual option for next year.