The New York Mets did not give Edwin Diaz permission to pitch in the Puerto Rican league as he was hoping.
The 26-year-old relief pitcher told MLB.com’s Nathalie Alonso in December that he was hoping to pitch for the Criollos de Caguas of the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League this year. The Criollos have played four games this season, and Diaz did not appear in any of the games. That’s because he was not given permission by the Mets to play, a PR official told MLB.com’s Nathalie Alonso.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and short 2020 MLB season, it’s understandable why the Mets may have denied Diaz’s request.
The team acquired Diaz in a Dec. 2018 trade with the Mariners that also involved Robinson Cano. The deal was among Brodie Van Wagenen’s first during his brief stint on the job. Diaz was abysmal in his first season with the Mets, but he settled in nicely last season. Diaz went 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA and had 50 strikeouts in 25.2 innings pitched.
Edwin Diaz has had a nightmarish start to the 2020 season, and he is opening up a bit about his early struggles.
During Thursday’s loss to the Boston Red Sox, the New York Mets reliever allowed four of the five batters he faced in the ninth inning to reach base, effectively closing the door on a Mets comeback. Diaz told reporters on Friday that he feels off with his mechanics.
“It was a little bit surprising how the outing went,” said Diaz, per Justin Toscano of The Record. “It had been five days since I last threw. I didn’t feel like I had my mechanics in order.”
Diaz added that was open to pitching “whenever” and would prefer to do so more frequently instead of having long layoffs.
Mets manager Luis Rojas also said he and Diaz had a “healthy conversation” about Thursday’s outing and that the 26-year-old is willing to pitch in whatever spot the Mets ask, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
The former All-Star Diaz now has a 7.71 ERA in three appearances so far this season. He was a centerpiece of the Robinson Cano trade with the Seattle Mariners after leading the AL in saves in 2018, but now his continued hold on the Mets closer job appears to be getting tenuous.
Not long ago, some questioned Diaz’s fitness for the New York life, and now those concerns could be coming to light once again if he keeps struggling.
There is still hope of playing the 2020 MLB season. While players definitely want to get back to action, there are some who may feel they have more to prove than others. Those players had bad seasons in 2019 by their standards, and would love nothing more than to make things right in 2020.
Here are five players who are looking for bounceback seasons after underwhelming 2019 campaigns.
5. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Padres
The second year of Hosmer’s eight-year deal with the Padres wasn’t much better than the first, which is worrisome from San Diego’s perspective. The veteran first baseman hit .265 with 22 home runs, but his .310 OBP simply isn’t good enough, especially for someone making $21 million annually. Hosmer is only 30, and he is still sound defensively, but he doesn’t look like the guy who was once an All-Star for the Kansas City Royals. The Padres need that to change.
4. Edwin Diaz, RP, Mets
Prior to the 2019 season, the Mets gave up a huge sum to get Diaz and Robinson Cano — most notably top prospect Jarred Kelenic. Diaz was a bust. After posting a 1.96 ERA in his final season with the Mariners, Diaz’s ERA ballooned to 5.59 in New York, and he blew seven saves. Whatever the reason for Diaz’s issues — one ex-teammate thought the city was a bad fit for him — the Mets need him to be a lot better to justify the hefty price they paid for him.
3. Miguel Cabrera, DH/1B, Tigers
Cabrera mostly stayed healthy last season, which is an improvement from a lost 2018 season. However, his tally of 12 home runs is unfathomably low for a player who was once one of the most feared sluggers in the game. It may be that age and injury have sapped Cabrera of his power, as his numbers have cratered since the 2016 season. The Tigers have him on the books through 2023, and while he may never be an MVP again, they’d desperately like to get some production out of him.
2. Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
Votto is one of the most intelligent and cerebral hitters in the league, so to see him post his worst season as an MLB player in 2019 is really alarming. Votto hit just .261, with only 15 home runs and 47 RBIs. Those are remarkably bad numbers from one of the most reliable hitters of his generation. Votto turned 36 last September, so this is another instance where age may be catching up to him. The Reds, who have been very aggressive in the offseason, are hoping that is not the case. They need Votto to be himself in order to contend. Based on some of his recent comments, we expect a turnaround.
1. Trevor Bauer, P, Reds
Bauer had a 2.21 ERA in 2018 and looked to be establishing himself as one of the game’s best pitchers. He wasn’t quite as good for the start of 2019, and then his numbers cratered after he was dealt to Cincinnati. Bauer won just twice in 10 starts for the Reds, posting a 6.39 ERA, though he said he was playing through injury. Bauer was acquired to lead the staff, and he’s entering a contract year. For those reasons, he should be motivated to be at his best in 2020. The Reds, who will likely anchor their rotation around him, desperately need that to be the case.
The New York Mets are searching for a new manager after they announced the firing of Mickey Callaway on Thursday, but apparently they are not planning to make sweeping changes to the team’s current roster.
Without being asked any question about the Mets potentially trading some of their top players this offseason, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters on Thursday that the team has no plans to trade starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard or closer Edwin Diaz. He also indicated Robinson Cano is expected to be back in 2020.
Syndergaard was the subject of trade rumors at various points throughout the 2019 season, but the Mets chose to hang onto him. There was some belief that they would deal Syndergaard after they acquired Marcus Stroman in a trade at the deadline, but the plan is for Stroman to replace soon-to-be free agent Zack Wheeler if and when he departs this winter.
Both Syndergaard and Diaz had disappointing seasons in New York. Syndergaard finished the year 10-8 with a career-worst 4.28 ERA. His 197.2 innings pitched were the most of his career, but so were the 24 home runs he allowed. Diaz, who was expected to solidify the back end of the Mets’ bullpen, posted a 5.59 ERA after he was lights out with a 1.96 ERA in Seattle last year. The 25-year-old saved 26 games in 33 opportunities.
Syndergaard supposedly had some issues with the catchers he was paired with late in the season, but that can easily be worked out during the winter. If the Mets want to contend for a playoff spot and have a strong starting rotation, building around Syndergaard and Stroman is a good idea.
The New York Mets have been linked with a lot of big moves at the trade deadline, but their efforts to make a blockbuster trade appear to be lessening.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Mets are looking increasingly likely to keep closer Edwin Diaz, with the closer’s value having taken a hit as a result of his poor season.
It’s a bit of a shift from recently, when Diaz was believed to be more likely to go than not. However, despite his track record and team control remaining, he has a 5.05 ERA in 2019, and blew another save on Tuesday night. The time just doesn’t appear to be right for a move.
The Boston Red Sox have been viewed as the most logical suitor for New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz heading into Wednesday’s trade deadline, but they are apparently looking to make a less flashy addition to their bullpen.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Red Sox are unlikely to land any of the top relievers available on the trade market and are instead focusing on “lesser bullpen names.”
The Red Sox are squarely in the AL wild card hunt after taking three of four games from the New York Yankees over the weekend, but they still have major needs to address in their bullpen. They also have a depleted farm system as a result of the Chris Sale trade and some other moves they’ve made in recent years, so targeting lesser names might make sense.
Whatever route they chose to go, the Red Sox are said to be confident they are going to make a significant move before Wednesday’s deadline.
The next big name to move may be New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, according to a report.
ESPN’s Buster Olney said Monday that many rival evaluators believe Diaz will be dealt by the Mets by Wednesday’s trade deadline, with the Boston Red Sox aggressively in pursuit.
After a dominant season in 2018 where he saved 57 games, Diaz has seen his ERA rise to 4.95 as he’s struggled with the Mets. He has a great track record and is under team control through 2022, so as long as teams are willing to pay for what he could be worth instead of trying to buy low, the Mets may be motivated to make a move. The asking price is said to be high, but a lot of teams are interested anyway.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, are in need of bullpen help and seem motivated to make a big deal. Diaz could very well be that move.
Edwin Diaz has not worked out well for the New York Mets this season, but he is still a highly desirable player.
Earlier on Saturday, we shared a report saying the Dodgers and Brewers were among the teams interested in acquiring Diaz. Later in the evening, the New York Post’s Mike Puma reported that the Braves, Rays and Blue Jays were also in on the closer.
Diaz, 25, has gone 1-6 with a 4.81 ERA this season and has been a huge disappointment. Last year he led MLB with 57 saves and made the All-Star team.
Diaz is still under team control for three more seasons, which is why he is a valued commodity. The Mets would be selling low on him if they trade him.
If the New York Mets decide to trade closer Edwin Diaz, they will have plenty of interest.
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets have received “heavy interest” in Diaz, who they’d trade for the right price. The contending Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers are among the interested teams, as are the likes of the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox despite their lack of contention.
Diaz, who was an elite closer with the Seattle Mariners, has struggled this year, but teams clearly believe in his talent. It also helps that he’s only 25 and under team control through 2022, meaning any team that adds him will have him for a while.
Diaz has a 4.81 ERA this year only one season after his 57 saves led baseball. He has elite stuff and teams will bet on that. The Mets are open to a deal, but they dealt two top 100 prospects to get him just last winter, and will want to at least recoup that.
The New York Mets are exploring all avenues to better their situation, and that could include dealing their key offseason acquisition.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the Mets are open to discussing trades for closer Edwin Diaz, whom they acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Mariners during the offseason.
A deal for Diaz is unlikely for several reasons. According to Passan, the Mets are seeking more than the two top 100 prospects they gave up for him, and that will be a hard sell with Diaz having an underwhelming season. The closer has been inconsistent, posting a 4.81 ERA and diminishing his value from where it was when the Mets acquired him alongside Robinson Cano from Seattle.
An ex-teammate of Diaz openly wondered after one of his blown saves whether New York was just a poor fit for the closer. Perhaps a change of scenery would benefit the closer, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen before July 31.