Mets finalize 5-year, $102M deal with Díaz

November 9th, 2022

NEW YORK -- Coming off a historic season, has struck an equally historic deal to remain with the Mets.

Díaz and the Mets agreed to terms on a five-year, $102 million contract that is the richest in history for a reliever. The club announced the signing on Wednesday. The contract includes an opt-out after the 2025 season, a $20 million team option for 2028 and a full no-trade clause. It surpasses Aroldis Chapman's just-completed five-year, $86 million pact with the Yankees as the largest for a reliever.

It also takes Díaz off the market just days before he would have been eligible to sign with any team. He had been set to become a free agent for the first time in his career.

“Edwin has every attribute we look for in a closer,” Mets general manager Billy Eppler said. “He's a tremendous competitor, has a burning desire to be the best and possesses the stuff to compete with any hitter in the league. We are thrilled he’ll be anchoring our bullpen moving forward.”

Díaz is coming off one of the most dominant seasons by a modern closer, an All-Star campaign that transformed what was once a rocky narrative with the Mets.

Shortly after general manager Brodie Van Wagenen acquired Díaz and Robinson Canó in a polarizing December 2018 trade, Díaz debuted with the most challenging season of his career, blowing seven saves, losing seven games and producing a 5.59 ERA in his first year in New York.

He rebounded with stronger performances in 2020-21, but it was not until this past summer that he became one of the most popular relievers the Mets have employed. His rate of 17.1 strikeouts per nine innings was second-highest in AL/NL history among pitchers with at least 30 innings, trailing only Chapman’s 2014 campaign with the Reds.

Along the way, Díaz became a Citi Field phenomenon thanks to his entrance music, “Narco,” by the Dutch DJ duo Blasterjaxx and Australian partner, Timmy Trumpet. The pulsing beat accompanied Díaz as he jogged in from the bullpen, eventually spawning production elements including stadium lighting effects and a camera that followed the closer on his trip to the mound. The Mets’ broadcast partner, SNY, ceased cutting to commercial when Díaz was set to enter the game.

Still just 28 years old, Díaz is a two-time All-Star who has saved 205 games in seven seasons, including three with the Mariners and the last four with the Mets. He owns a career 2.93 ERA.

The Puerto Rico native was a third-round Draft pick of the Mariners in 2012. His younger brother, Alexis, is coming off a breakout season for the Reds, and Edwin has said that he would relish a chance to pitch in the same bullpen as Alexis at some point in his career. Most teammates call Díaz by his nickname, “Sugar,” which his childhood friends gave him because they believed he resembled the title character in the 2008 film, “Sugar.”

Díaz's deal completes the first item off what should be a busy offseason for the Mets, who must rebuild their bullpen around him while also filling out multiple rotation spots and potentially upgrading the offense.