As clubs throughout the league look to bolster their bullpens, the Mets have received calls on right-hander Edwin Diaz’s availability, tweets SNY’s Andy Martino. However, the Mets have continually rebuffed offers to this point. ESPN’s Jeff Passan further reports that Diaz could be had, but teams have been making weak offers in an attempt to buy low. Both Martino and Passan indicate that the Mets are loath to sell low on an arm of Diaz’s caliber — particularly given the extraordinary price they paid to acquire him from the Mariners.
The 26-year-old Diaz is sitting on an impressive 2.77 ERA through 13 innings and has struck out a ridiculous 28 of the 60 batters he’s faced in 2020. However, Diaz has also walked eight batters, hit another and served up a pair of homers in that small sample of work. Add in last year’s ghastly season — 5.59 ERA in 58 frames — and it’s not surprising to see clubs hoping to get a deal on the flamethrowing righty.
In Diaz’s three full seasons with the Mariners, he pitched to a collective 2.64 ERA with a 2.56 FIP, 14.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and 0.94 HR/9. Along the way, he racked up 109 saves and gave the M’s 191 innings out of the ’pen. While he’s still missing bats at an elite rate — his 16.1 K/9 as a Met is actually an improvement over his Mariners rate — Diaz has seen his walk rate increase and his HR/9 mark soar to 2.15. He’s blown 10 saves in 71 innings as a Met after blowing just 12 in 191 frames with Seattle.
Even with Diaz’s questionable control thus far in 2020, though, the early results do have the makings of a bounceback effort. His 98.3 mph average fastball is stronger than ever, and Diaz’s 21.5 percent swinging-strike rate is not only a personal best but would be the third-best mark of any reliever in a single season over the past decade. With that context, just as it’s easy to see why clubs would try to low-ball the Mets, it’s easy to see why the Mets don’t feel inclined to take a mediocre return.
Diaz’s 2020 salary clocks in at $5.1MM — prorated to $1.84MM — and he’s still controlled for another two seasons beyond the current campaign. His outrageous strikeout totals will only further drive up his arbitration price, as will any saves he accrues, although he’s only picked up two of those so far in the current season.