EDWIN Rosario DIAZ
Image of Sugar
Nickname:   Sugar Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   METS
Height: 6' 3" Bats:   R
Weight: 165 Throws:   R
DOB: 3/22/1994 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: N/A  
Birth City: Naguabo, P.R.
Draft: Mariners #3 - 2012 - Out of high school (Puerto Rico)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2012 AZL AZL-Mariners   9 19 12 20 17 1 0 0 0 2 1   5.21
2013 APP PULASKI   13 69 45 80 18 13 0 0 0 5 2   1.43
2014 MWL CLINTON   24 116.1 96 111 42 24 1 1 0 6 8   3.33
2015 SL JACKSON   20 104.1 102 103 37 20 0 0 0 5 10 0.259 4.57
2015 CAL BAKERSFIELD   7 37 21 42 9 7 0 0 0 2 0 0.167 1.70
2016 SL JACKSON   16 40.2 32 54 7 6 0 0 1 3 3   2.21
2016 AL MARINERS $571.00 49 51.2 45 88 15 0 0 0 18 0 4 0.226 2.79
2017 AL MARINERS   66 66 44 89 32 0 0 0 34 4 6   3.27
2018 AL MARINERS   73 73.1 41 124 17 0 0 0 57 0 4 0.16 1.96
2019 NL METS   66 58 58 99 22 0 0 0 26 2 7 0.258 5.59
2020 NL METS $1,889.00 26 25.2 18 50 14 0 0 0 6 2 1 0.191 1.75
2021 NL METS $7,000.00 63 63 43 89 23 0 0 0 32 5 6 0.195 3.45
2022 - - $10,200.00                          
2023 NL METS $18,444.00                          
Personal
  • In 2012, Diaz graduated from Caguas Military Academy High School in Puerto Rico. 

  • In 2012, Diaz signed with the Mariners (see Transactions below).

  • Edwin's cousin, Jose Melendez, pitched in the big leagues for parts of five seasons in the 1990s for Seattle, San Diego and Boston.

  • In 2013, Baseball America rated Diaz as the 19th-best prospect in the Mariners' organization. They moved him up to #5 in the spring of 2014. And he was at #6 in the winter before 2015 spring camps opened. Then, in the spring of 2016, they moved Edwin to second-best prospect in the Mariners organization.

  • His idol is Pedro Martinez, which is why whenever it is available, Diaz wears No. 45.

  • In 2013, Diaz led the Appalachian League in ERA, strikeouts (79) and strikeout ratio (4.4 K's to one BB), as well as WHIP (0.91).

  • In 2015, Diaz was named to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game for the Mariners.

  • In 2015, Diaz was named the Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

  • June 4, 2016 (MLB debut):  It didn't take long for rookie reliever Edwin Diaz, the Mariners' No. 2 prospect, to make a positive impression on his manager. One inning, to be exact. Called up from Double-A Jackson, Diaz made his big league debut with a perfect seventh inning, a bright spot in the Mariners' 3-1 loss to the Indians.

    "Obviously he was excited to be here," manager Scott Servais said. "I think our people in player development, on the Minor League side, I need to tip my hat to them. Awesome job getting that young kid ready to pitch in the big leagues."

    Diaz said he tried to convince himself it was just another relief situation.

    "When I was warming up, I was thinking it was the same thing here as Double-A," Diaz said. "I need to make pitches and get outs. I was more nervous in the bullpen than on the mound. I tried to keep it simple. After the first pitch, I said, 'Let's go,' and got my first inning."

    According to MLB Statcast, Diaz hit 101.2 mph on a pitch to Rajai Davis, the third batter he faced.

    "That's the reports," Servais said. "He's got a really lively fastball. Controlling it through the course of his career, he's not walked many guys. He throws the ball over the plate. Nice to see the slider, too. His willingness to go to it, not afraid and located it pretty well."  (Jim Hoehn - MLB.com)

  • In 2017, Diaz represented Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

  • Seven days after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, wreaking destruction and wiping out power to the entire island, Edwin finally spoke to his parents for the first time. And the relief in Edwin's voice was evident as he played out the same scenario so many families are dealing with in trying to communicate in the wake of the Category 5 storm.

    "It's the first time I heard from them," said Diaz, who had been told by a cousin five days before that the family was at least OK. "They had to drive 25 minutes and get somebody's phone to call me. But they called and I'm happy. They told me everybody is good. I'm so glad to hear that. I've just been waiting for them to call. I'm more relaxed now. I'm just waiting for the season to be over and then I'll go home with them."

    Being so far from home is hard enough, but when that home is suddenly blacked out by a powerful storm and the only news you get is the difficult drama playing out on television news channels, it's hard to imagine the emotions Diaz and his countrymates are feeling.

    "Everybody is worried about everything," he said. "We all worry about our families, but we are also worried about the entire country of Puerto Rico. They support us all and this is the time for us to support them. We're trying to do everything we can to get supplies to Puerto Rico. We're trying to do a lot of things that are impossible, but let's see what we can do."

    Diaz is working with veteran Yadier Molina, another Puerto Rican native who has a foundation already in place, to raise money and send food and supplies.  These concerns don't just hit close to home. They have literally hit the homes of these players and their family and friends. Diaz's grandmother's house was damaged, but he said his parents have a generator and enough water and food for now, at least.

    "I want to go home as soon as the season is over and check on things myself," Diaz said. "I want to check my wife's family, too. We haven't heard anything from them yet. She wants to go there, and I want to support her to see her family, too. It's tough. It's really tough."  (Johns - mlb.com - 9/25/17)

  • In 2018, Diaz was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game, earning the Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year Award for his efforts. Back in his hometown of Naguabo, Puerto Rico, "El Sugar" is a big deal ... so much so that there's a big mural up paying tribute to Diaz. (A Gurro - MLB.com - Nov 26, 2018)

  • For nearly a year, Edwin was nervous, frightful, afraid of what might happen to his mother. And never more so than the day in April 2019 when Beatriz Laboy Mendez went to the doctor for a checkup. Diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2018, she had been fighting the disease since that time. Finally, Diaz called her after the doctor’s appointment and listened as she relayed the news he most wanted to hear.

    Diaz’s mom was cancer-free. “I was really happy,” Diaz said. “My family feels proud about that.”

    Growing up in Puerto Rico, Diaz said, his mom meant everything to him and his brothers. To honor her on Mother’s Day 2019, he was using a custom-made pink glove featuring her name, as well as that of his grandmother Iris, his sister Miriam and his wife Nashaly Mercado. On one side of the glove, the stitched name “Beatriz” holds a place of honor.

    “She means everything because she worked hard,” Diaz said. “She did a lot of things for me and my family. She did everything for us.”  (DiComo - mlb.com - 5/12/19)

  • Nickname: Diaz’s high school friends thought he looked like the main character from the baseball movie “Sugar,” and the nickname stuck. He’s used it throughout his Major League career.

  • 2019 Season: Enough with the narrative, says Edwin Díaz.

    “Just because I’ve had one bad season, doesn’t mean I’m a bad pitcher,” Díaz said through an interpreter in late September, “especially when I’ve had three great seasons in Seattle. The fourth one went bad, but you just have to continue working so you can get back to that level.”

    It’s not an exaggeration to say Díaz's ability to re-attain those heights could mean the difference between the Mets making and missing the playoffs in 2020. The Mets will have to decide how to deploy him in 2020. The team’s unquestioned closer heading into last season, Díaz ended the season in a timeshare with Seth Lugo, who could see ninth-inning opportunities again next year. But in the Mets’ perfect world, Díaz will give them no choice, reverting to elite form in 2020.

    “I do think that Edwin personally took a lot of heat for his performances,” Van Wagenen said. “I know I did as well. But Edwin still saved 26 games for us this year. It’s far from where we hoped he could be and it’s far from where we believe he will be.”

    What Went Right in 2019?

    When things went well for Díaz, he still looked every bit the unhittable pitcher he was in 2018. Healthy all season, Díaz finished 11th in the Majors with 99 strikeouts and produced one of the league’s best whiff rates. That’s what made Díaz's season so perplexing: at times, he was unhittable.

    What Went Wrong in 2019?

    Díaz’s bugaboo was the home run ball, which bit him in four of his seven blown saves. No full-time MLB reliever posted a higher home run rate than Díaz’s 2.3 per 9 innings, while only four lost more games than him and only six blew more saves. In any context, that would be an issue. In the New York fishbowl, it was even more impactful considering the heavy prospect price the Mets paid to acquire Díaz and Robinson Canó, who experienced plenty of issues of his own after the trade.

    Best Moment in 2019

    Díaz’s most memorable save came on Opening Day, when he buzzed through the Nationals in order on 14 pitches. He continued to enjoy a series of strong outings from there, waking up on the morning of April 29 with eight saves in eight chances and a 0.84 ERA. In retrospect, that was the high point of his season. From then on, Díaz blew 7 of his 25 save opportunities, allowing 14 homers in 47 innings while producing a 6.65 ERA.  (A DiComo - MLB.com - Nov 5, 2019)

  • Nov 7, 2019: Díaz, 25, joined others who have touted Carlos Beltrán's leadership abilities. Díaz downplays Beltrán's lack of experience, citing the new skipper's bilingualism as a strength.

    “I think he’s going to be a tremendous manager because he speaks both languages and everyone respects him,” Díaz said.

    Díaz says he wants to pick Beltran’s brain about succeeding in New York, a city the incoming manager knows well, having suited up for both the Mets and the Yankees as a player.

    “I want to have that conversation, to ask him how he handled New York in the time he was there [as a player] and now as a manager,” said Díaz. “He can give me some advice on how to handle the city better.”

    A rebound from Díaz will be critical to New York’s aspirations. The righthander was arguably the best closer in baseball when the Mets acquired him, along with Robinson Canó, in a trade with Seattle. But a year after posting a 1.96 ERA and leading the American League with 57 saves, Díaz had a nightmarish first season in Queens.

    In 66 games in 2019, Díaz had a 5.59 ERA, converted just 26 saves in 33 opportunities and allowed 15 home runs. He nonetheless struck out 99 of the 254 batters he faced, finishing with an elite 39 percent strikeout rate.

    In a conference call at the beginning of October to discuss the firing of Mickey Callaway, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen volunteered that Díaz and starter Noah Syndergaard will remain with the team for the 2020 season. According to Díaz, Van Wagenen was reiterating the message he delivered to the closer during the season.

    “When the Trade Deadline in July passed, he told me I was a fundamental part of this team,” Díaz said.

    As a result of his struggles, Díaz wound up sharing closer duties with Lugo. But the flamethrower is preparing this winter with the goal of proving to the Mets that he is capable of handling the ninth inning. His main focus, he says, is regaining command of the slider that made him so lethal in Seattle.

    To that end, Díaz has started his offseason routine earlier than usual. After the 2018 season, he didn’t start working out until mid-November. But this year, he said he’s been back in the gym since Oct. 16 and has already started getting his arm loose.

    “I’d rather start earlier and prepare myself physically and mentally, so that by the first day of Spring Training I’m ready to battle hard and win the closer job again,” Díaz said. (N Alonso - MLB>com - Nov 7, 2019)

  • January 2020: When a catastrophic earthquake struck his native Puerto Rico early on the morning of Jan. 7, Edwin felt nothing as he slept in his home in Maunabo, a small town near the island’s southeastern coast. He awoke to phone calls from his parents and siblings, who filled him in on the tragedy unfolding elsewhere on the island.

    Soon after, Díaz decided to do something about it, gathering his family members together to hatch a plan. He and his wife shopped for supplies and recruited a small army to make the two-hour drive west to Peñuelas. It was Díaz’s parents, his siblings, his niece and nephew, and lots of friends . . . about 40 people in total.

    There, Díaz saw the extent of destruction that a series of earthquakes and aftershocks have wreaked in Puerto Rico since late December. Some houses were destroyed, others badly damaged. People nursed injuries. Many prominent Puerto Ricans, including former Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado, milled about, helping in whatever ways they could.

    “When we first got there, it was really impactful,” Díaz said. “It’s good to be able to use your resources and be able to help other people, because it’s definitely a sad time. It feels good to see people put a smile on their face when they see you.”

    The earthquakes marked the latest natural disaster in Puerto Rico, which is still recovering in many ways from the destruction of Hurricane Maria in Sept. 2017. Díaz, who was on the Mariners when that storm struck, rushed home after the season to take part in relief efforts.

    While the recent quakes may have affected fewer Puerto Ricans than Maria did, they have still caused significant damage, uprooting families and turning lives upside-down. Even in relatively unaffected areas, much of the island lost power after the Jan. 7 quake, which was followed by a rapid series of aftershocks. The entire episode lasted weeks; even today, the island remains on alert. For those in the hardest-hit areas, recovery efforts won’t end anytime soon.

    When Díaz arrived in Peñuelas, a local politician assigned him to the Caracoles barrio (neighborhood) where his crew wore orange-and-blue “Team Sugar” t-shirts as they handed out supplies, including water, paper towels, toiletries and first-aid kits.

    “I don’t feel a responsibility to help—it’s something that comes from the heart,” Díaz said. “I know that if we were in the same situation, other people from other towns nearby would be helping us out. And luckily for us, we have the resources to be able to gather ourselves, and we are able to go help other people out. We are all Puerto Ricans, so at the end of the day, if we can help each other out, that’s what’s best.” (A DiComo - MLB.com - Jan 19, 2020)

  • Aug. 4, 2021: Edwin was in a Miami restaurant having lunch with his parents when, suddenly, he received a call from his wife at noon. He took it, then looked at the rest of the table. 

    “I’ve got to go to New York,” Diaz told his family. “My baby’s coming.”

    Diaz called the Mets to alert them, then took a flight to New York. He landed at around 8:30 p.m. and arrived at the hospital about 15 minutes before his wife, Nashaly, gave birth to the couple’s second son, Sebastián. 

    “It was pretty emotional,” Diaz recalled in an interview on the field at Citizens Bank Park. 

    The moment was extra special to Diaz because he wasn’t there when his first son, Gahel, was born. Gahel, now 5 years old, was due around July 15 but arrived early, on July 10, 2016. (Justin Toscano -MLB Writer)

  • April 10-12, 2022: Diaz was on the bereavement list.

  • July 4, 2022:  When the Mets take the field at Great American Ball Park, Edwin and Alexis Díaz won’t be the only members of their family present. The two brothers will be there, of course, along with their mother, father, sister, nieces and others.

    It’s a family reunion for a specific occasion. Although Alexis Díaz is wrapping up an injured-list stint and won’t participate in the games between the Mets and Reds, he will still be able to spend time with Edwin Díaz, his older brother. Edwin plans to hang out at Alexis’ apartment while in Cincinnati, where the two will enjoy each other’s company for the first time since March.

    “We FaceTime each other every night, after every outing that we do,” Alexis said. “If not, if he can’t find me, he’ll text me and say, ‘Dang, I was nasty.’ Then I’d go check the highlights and I’m like, ‘Yeah, you were definitely nasty.’”

    Edwin may be having his nastiest season to date, leading qualified Major Leaguers by a wide margin with 17.54 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s 18-for-21 in save opportunities with a 1.95 ERA.

    Of course, the elder Díaz has been doing this sort of thing for a long time. Alexis, who is three years younger, endured a more complicated road to the Majors, including undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2016. He pitched at Double-A Chattanooga last season but skipped a level, making Cincinnati’s big league bullpen out of Spring Training.

    Six weeks later, Alexis and Edwin Díaz became the third set of siblings—and the first in nearly a quarter-century—to record saves on the same day.

    “I’m really proud, because he’s worked really hard,” Edwin said of Alexis. “He had some injuries when he was in the Minor Leagues, but he made it, and he’s doing really, really good right now. I’m really happy for him.”

    In recent weeks, a bout of right biceps tendinitis has kept Alexis on the IL, where he’s been since June 19. He will not be active for the three-game series against the Mets, and although Alexis is nearing a return, the closest Edwin will get to see him in action will be during a live batting-practice session.

  • The injury interrupted what had been a strong rookie season for Alexis, who owns a 2.40 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 27 appearances while using a two-pitch mix of four-seam fastballs and sliders. It’s the same strategy that Edwin has used to great effect in New York, which is hardly a coincidence. The two talk often about pitching, both during the regular season and after Alexis’ games for Santurce in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Alexis offers plenty of advice to Edwin as well, despite his older brother’s more accomplished track record.

    “We are really, really tight,” Edwin said. “We do everything together.” 

    The last time Alexis watched his older brother pitch in person was 2018, when Edwin was with the Mariners.

    “After my Minor League season was over, I would fly into Seattle and stay two weeks with him,” Alexis said. “I felt that same adrenaline as he did on the field whenever I saw him pitch. I felt that energy coming through him to me. It was a magical time when he was pitching out there with Seattle. I’ve seen it so much that I can understand where I get that energy, too.”

  • For the 25-year-old Alexis, stepping onto the same Major League field as Edwin will be extra special, even if he won’t be on the active roster. The Reds will travel to Citi Field for another three-game series Aug. 8-10, giving the brothers an opportunity to become the first Puerto Rican-born siblings to oppose each other in a Major League game—and to grab whatever bragging rights they can.

    “It’s something that I’ve thought about forever,” Alexis said. “We’ve talked about it with my brother since the beginning that we would face each other.”

    Added Edwin: “I’m really happy for him, and looking forward to seeing him stay in the big leagues like me.” (A DiComo & M Sheldon - MLB.com - July 4, 2022)

  • Pirates closer David Bednar reacted as if he had not quite heard Braves bullpen coach Drew French correctly.

    “Bednar, you’re in the game,” French said after the top of the eighth inning during the 2022 All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. Bednar, a first-time All-Star at 27, pointed to himself in the National League bullpen, touching his chest, as if to say, “Me?”

    It wasn’t that Bednar was unprepared; he had been ready to pitch the entire game. But after warming up in the fourth, only to sit back down, he thought his moment had passed. It might have, if not for Edwin Díaz.

    The Mets closer did not necessarily know every detail of Bednar’s story.

    Díaz, however, knew this much: He had pitched in an All-Star Game, in 2018 as a member of the Mariners, and Bednar had not. He kept pestering French, telling him Bednar could take his inning. Manager Brian Snitker’s original plan was for Díaz, one of the game’s most dominant relievers, to pitch the ninth if the NL led or the score was tied.

    The game moved into the later innings. The NL continued to trail, 3-2. Díaz, knowing Bednar would relish the experience of pitching on the All-Star stage, again told French, “I don’t have any problem if you want to pitch him.” He had expressed a similar sentiment to French and Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz before the game, saying he was more than happy to give up his inning or split it with another pitcher to give someone else a chance.

    Snitker, managing an All-Star Game for the first time, was struck by the unselfishness of Díaz and other veteran All-Stars. Albert Pujols was among those who told him: “I’ve done this before. Let the guys who haven’t been here play.” Snitker, mind you, was not about to deprive Pujols of an at-bat in his final All-Star Game. But the manager, after returning to Atlanta, said the willingness of veteran All-Stars to sacrifice playing time for first-timers, “was a really cool part of this whole thing.”

    French joked that the Braves wanted Díaz to pitch, seeing as how he plays for the division rival Mets. But the entire NL bullpen, it seemed, had a soft spot for Bednar.

    “Edwin was the ringleader of it. He really spearheaded the effort,” French said. “But once this was kind of going down, everyone started to get involved emotionally, wanting him to get out there, get him in the game.”

    “I was still holding out hope,” Bednar said. “They were all kind of nudging me, ‘Go tell him you want to throw. Go tell him you want to throw,’” Bednar said. “I was saying, ‘Obviously, I want to throw, but it’s not really my place to make a stand, pound the table, force my way in there.’”

    “Look, Edwin really wants Bednar to have his inning. It’s his first All-Star Game. (No one knows) if he’s ever going to be back,” Braves bullpen catcher Jose Yépez told French.

    As he took the mound, he was not especially nervous. Just excited.

    “I wanted to go out, just attack, let it rip, try and showcase my stuff, represent the Pirates and the city of Pittsburgh the best I could,” Bednar said.

    "It put the cherry on top of this whole experience,” French said. “These guys don’t know each other from Adam, for the most part. You see each other compete. You have mutual respect. But the way they emotionally connected for one or two days, that was something that I was really taken aback by.”

    Bednar, for his part, will never forget Díaz’s gesture.

    “It speaks volumes of who he is as a person and teammate,” Bednar said. “He didn’t have to do that.”

    (Rosenthal-TheAthletic.com-July 21, 2022)

  • Blasterjaxx, the Dutch electro house group which — along with collaborator Timmy Trumpet — released the single “Narco” in the fall of 2017. The following spring, the song became the entrance music for Díaz, who was in his third season with the Mariners. Four years later, the song is a full-blown phenomenon, a pulsating, trumpet-blasting anthem that has carried Díaz to his best season in New York — and the Mets to the top of the National League East.

    Mets manager Buck Showalter has delayed a late-game bathroom break so as not to miss Díaz and the trumpets. The Mets’ local broadcast on SNY went viral while creating a cinematic entrance video. One Mets official mused that the song not only changed everything for Díaz but also for the entire Mets franchise.

    Díaz burst onto the scene for the Mariners in 2016, recording a 2.79 ERA and 18 saves as a 22-year-old. As his star rose and he ascended to the closer role, one thing was clear: He needed a fitting entrance song, the hallmark of any elite reliever. The Mariners first tried to leverage Díaz’s nickname (“Sugar”) and opted for Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” but Díaz didn’t love the sound. 

    One day at spring training in 2018, Greg Greene, the Mariner's VP of marketing, pulled Díaz aside and played him three songs on his phone. The last one … was “Narco.”

    “When I heard it, it felt like a bullfight,” Greene said. And Díaz loved the sound.

    “The trumpets,” he said. “It’s unique, something different than everybody.”

    Díaz kept the song for all of 2018, posting a 1.97 ERA and making his first All-Star Game. But it would be his last in Seattle. Before the 2019 season, he was traded to the Mets. Díaz struggled in his first season in New York, logging a 5.59 ERA in 66 appearances, and perhaps it was a coincidence that he’d stopped warming up to “Narco.” But when the 2020 season rolled around, his wife Nashaly had an idea.

    “You should use the trumpet again,” Díaz recalled his wife saying. “You pitched really good with them. I think you can do better again in New York with the trumpet.”

    He has reimagined himself in 2022, transforming into a dominant force on a Mets team that could win 100 games. He has a 1.39 ERA in 45 appearances. He is striking out 18.1 batters per nine innings. Since June, he has allowed one earned run in 24 2/3 innings while recording 53 strikeouts against two walks. The Mets still have not lost when leading a game after eight innings.

    “He’s been able to kind of reinvent himself and really just maximize what he can do,” Pete Alonso told reporters. “It’s just really special.”  (Dodd/Sammon-TheAthletic.com-August 11, 2022)

  • Sept 6, 2022: Mets closer Edwin Díaz has committed to representing Puerto Rico at next March's World Baseball Classic.

    This will be the closer's second time on the team, having saved two games while striking out nine in 5 1/3 innings during Puerto Rico's second-place finish at the 2017 tournament.

  • Nov 11, 2022: How Díaz's record deal with Mets came together:

    On Nov 6, the Mets made their record-setting five-year, $102 million deal with Edwin Díaz official, checking one significant item off their offseason to-do list. But why now? How did the Mets manage to come to terms on such a large contract so quickly? And what does it mean for the rest of their plans?

    Let’s dig into the idea behind the Díaz contract: How were the Mets able to lock up Díaz before free agency even began?

    While it’s unusual for a free agent to forgo the opportunity to talk to the other 29 teams, Díaz’s situation was unique.

    Before the end of the season, the Mets made it clear to Díaz and his agent, Joel Wolfe, that they hoped to re-sign him. Díaz, in turn, told team officials that he wanted to return to New York. Given that the Mets have at least a half-dozen bullpen holes to fill this offseason, it was important for them to fill the biggest one as quickly as possible. In other words, there wasn’t much reason for either side to shop around. So long as the Mets offered a fair-market deal, which they did with the largest contract for a reliever in baseball history, the situation was ideal for a quick resolution.

    “He wanted to get something done,” Mets general manager Billy Eppler said. “He wanted to stay here. He was very upfront about that from the get-go, so we just felt it was a really good match.” Is it actually a good contract? There’s no denying that the history of long-term contracts for relievers isn’t great. This is a volatile position, as Díaz himself demonstrated in going from one of the league’s worst closers in 2019 to one of its best in 2022. Outside of Mariano Rivera, few one-inning closers in history have strung together a half-decade or more of elite performances.

    Díaz, however, has multiple things working in his favor. One is the fact that he’s only 28 years old and will be 33 after receiving all the guaranteed money in his deal. Plenty of relievers have been solid performers long past that age. Díaz’s underlying metrics suggest that even if he takes a sizable step backward over the course of his deal, he should still be plenty valuable.

  • The best comp out there might be Aroldis Chapman, who immediately regressed after signing a five-year deal with the Yankees following his standout 2016 season . . .not ideal. But Chapman, like Díaz, was coming from such a lofty place that even in his diminished state, he managed to save 124 games with a 2.82 ERA and a 155 league-adjusted ERA+ over those five seasons. It’s reasonable to think even a noticeable step backward from Díaz could look similar.

    “We were comfortable with the player,” Eppler said. “We were comfortable with where he was in his career, where he was in his trajectory and aging curves and all of those variables that help govern those decisions.”

    Don’t forget also that baseball is a business; Díaz played into that in a significant way with his entrance music and all the jersey sales, foam trumpets and marketing dollars that spawned. In more ways than one, the Mets are likely to receive a sizable return on investment here.

  • Say the Mets open the year with Díaz. That would require them to bring on three or four additional relievers from outside the organization, which feels about right.

    “There’s more work to do and a number of pitchers we’re willing to bring in,” Eppler said. “But getting someone to anchor the back end of the bullpen, and somebody that’s reliable -- our manager trusts him, our fans trust him, our owner trusts him, I trust him -- I think everybody feels good when he comes running into the game. So I think that was a big component of it.” (A Dicomo - MLB.com - Nov 11, 2022)    

  • The general timeline for a torn patellar recovery is usually about eight months, Mets general manager Billy Eppler said on Wednesday, which would rule Díaz out for the 2023 season. Eppler added that athletes with the injury have returned as early as around six months, but those instances, as he put it, “are a little bit more the exception than the rule.”

    “Eight (months) is a pretty realistic goal here,” said Dr. Michael Alaia, MD, a sports health expert and associate professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Orthopedics. “I mean, it could be sooner or it could be later, but generally speaking, eight is within a very reasonable timeframe.”

    Publicly, the Mets have said all the right things about Díaz getting injured at the WBC, not while playing for them. They’ve called it a freak injury. They’ve talked about how it could’ve happened anywhere, anytime. Privately, they’ve carried themselves similarly. They’ve shared no resentment. They could have, especially because they just made Díaz the richest closer in baseball over the winter with a five-year, $102 million. But they haven’t. It’s been just the opposite.

    To players like Díaz, that approach tends to matter. It helps. Díaz has a sterling reputation around the baseball industry that goes beyond his excellence as the game’s best closer.

    “He has a really big bank account, but his heart is way bigger than his bank account is,” said Red Sox infielder Kiké Hernandez, one of Díaz’s Puerto Rico teammates in the WBC. “He’s one of the really special human beings we got in that clubhouse. I mean, it sucks that — it doesn’t matter who it would have been, it would have sucked either way — but the fact that it was him, it just … it’s a big blow in more ways than one.”

    That’s especially true when considering the nature of the injury, how it happened during a celebration of all things.

    “He’s got the benefit of being a pitcher, and it’s not his leading leg,” Dr Michael Alaia, a sports health expert said. “The left leg, when it comes down from a pitch, is going to be bent. It’s going to have a lot more torque across the patella when the left leg comes down. If this was different, if he had a left leg patellar tendon rupture, it actually might take him a substantially longer period of time to recover and get back to throwing. Because it’s more of the push-off leg, where the knee doesn’t have to bend as much, perhaps he might be able to come back a little sooner.”

    As if Díaz lacked for optimism.

    To those who have spoken to Díaz on the phone recently, the Mets star has sounded like his usual self. Charismatic. Resilient. Upbeat.

    Just consider what he told Mets general manager Billy Eppler shortly after he was wheeled off the field and learned that he had a torn right patellar tendon.

    “Don’t worry. This is going to be fine. It doesn’t hurt.”

    “That’s the guy,” Eppler said. “That’s the athlete we’ve come to love.”

    Those who know Díaz well call him one of the most optimistic people they’ve met. True to that personality, Díaz has spent his first few days after surgery trying to convince people that he’ll be back this season, even if everyone around the Mets must operate as if that won’t be the case. (Sammon - Mar 17, 2023 - The Athletic)

  • June 2023: Edwin Diaz made a splashy new purchase with his $102 million contract he signed last winter.

    The injured Mets closer bought a custom necklace for $250,000, loaded with diamonds, his uniform number, and a trumpet to pay homage to his “Narco” entrance song that made him a viral sensation during his All-Star 2022 campaign. (WFAN SPORTS RADIO 101.9 FM/66AM NEW YORK)



  • TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2012: Edwin signed with the Mariners for a bonus of $300,000 after they chose him in the third round of the draft, out of high school in Puerto Rico. Noel Sevilla is the scout who signed him.

  • Dec. 2, 2018: The Mariners sent Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz and $20 million to the Mets; acquiring Jay Bruce, RHP Anthony Swarzak, OF Jarred Kelenic, RHP Justin Dunn, and RHP Gerson Bautista.

  • Jan 10, 2020: Diaz and the Mets avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $5.1 million deal.

  • Jan 15, 2021: Diaz avoided arbitration with the Mets, agreeing to a one-year deal for $7 million. 

  • Nov 6, 2022: The Mets re-signed Díaz to a five-year, $102 million contract that includes an opt-out after the 2025 season, a $20 million team option for 2028 and a full no-trade clause and a sixth-year option. It surpasses Aroldis Chapman's just-completed five-year, $86 million pact with the Yankees as the largest for a reliever.
Pitching
  • Diaz has a 93-99 mph FASTBALL, and a tight 87-90 mph SLIDER that has become an above-average swing-and-miss offering since the Mariners had him raise his three-quarters arm slot. He also had an effective CHANGEUP that he is gaining decent arm speed with, that flashes average. But in 2016, when the M's moved him to the bullpen, he dropped the change. (Spring, 2018)

    Edwin is a sinker/slider pitcher—that's it.

    His slider is an average pitch (50, flashing a 55 or 60, on the 20-80 scale) when he stays on top of it, but he too often drops his elbow and gets on the side of it.

    “The guy has a chance to be a pretty good reliever,” Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said. “Edwin has plus fastball velocity, plus fastball life and what at times is a plus breaking ball."

    Without it, he was relegated to the bullpen during the spring of 2016. (May, 2016)

  • 2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 67.5% of the time; Change .1%; and Slider 32.4% of the time.

  • 2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 68.5% of the time; Change .3%; and Slider 31.1% of the time.

  • 2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 62.4% of the time; Change less than 1%; and Slider 37.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 98 mph, Change 94.3, and Slider 89.8 mph.

  • 2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 65.3% of the time; Change less than 1%; and Slider 33.9% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 97.8 mph, Change 96.4, and Slider 89.8 mph.

  • 2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 62.2% of the time; Sinker less than 1%; Change less than 1%; and Slider 37.2% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 98.2 mph, Sinker 94.3, Change 94.6, and Slider 90 mph.

  • Edwin will always be a tall, skinny righthander. And, like many tall, gangly pitchers, he had trouble coordinating his limbs, which led to spotty control.

    But his long arms allow him to whip the ball with surprising velocity. And the Mariners streamlined his delivery back in 2013, giving him better control and a nice downhill plane by raising his arm slot. He has a quick, whip-like arm action.

    His low-three-quarters arm slot is a tough look for righthanders, especially as he gets plenty of arm-side run. Diaz has shown average control with an ability to locate his fastball to both sides of the plate, but his delivery is long in back, with a hooking arm action and recoil as he finishes.

    He sometimes rushes too quickly through his delivery, though he does self-diagnose his delivery flaws as they crop up and his head remains still. (Spring, 2015)

  • Diaz did not start pitching until he was 15 years old. So he has a fresh right arm. He throws strikes, but still struggles with command of his pitches within the strike zone. When he misses, he tends to leave the ball over the plate. But he rarely allows homers.

  • Diaz profiles as a #3 starter, or as a strong late-inning reliever if stamina becomes a long-term issue. In 2016, the Mariners transitioned Edwin to the bullpen.

    "As nice as his progression has been as a starter, we felt like his ceiling was probably more back of the rotation because of the third pitch and the general wonder about how he could handle the innings because it's not the largest frame among the pitchers in our system," GM Jerry Dipoto told the Seattle media. "But as a reliever, if he can acclimate himself to the bounce back and show the resiliency to be a bullpen guy, does the stuff tick up?"

    "So far, it's good," Diaz said. "I was surprised, because I always thought I'd be a starting pitcher. But they said it was the best for me, so I'm OK with it. If it is the quickest way to get to the Major Leagues, I'm happy with it. That's what I want." (May 24, 2016)

  • In 2016, Edwin led the Major Leagues with 15.5 strikeouts per nine innings (minimum 40 IP).

  • In 2017, Edwin had 34 saves for the Mariners, even though he was temporarily removed from the closer role in May.

  • Best pitch: Diaz's slider. How he throws it: Diaz grips the ball with most of the pressure on his middle finger and thumb, a grip he adopted from veteran Joaquin Benoit two years ago. That was a change from more of a two-finger grip he deployed as a young starter coming up through the Minor Leagues. He says the grip allows more depth and dive to the slider as it approaches the plate.

    How he uses it:

    Diaz possesses a high-90s fastball that hitters need to gear up for. So, having the hard slider coming out of the same "tunnel" to counter that heater has been a difference-maker for him. Normally, Diaz will set hitters up with the fastball and then bring the slider, but he'll start some batters off with the slider if he thinks they're sitting on the heat.

    What they're saying about it: "He's got arms and legs coming at you and is just so aggressive with it," Mariners catcher Mike Zunino said. "Besides the spin and the break, he's just coming at you on all cylinders and you have to be ready for 100 mph and that just makes the slider play even more."

  • August 24, 2018:  Edwin set a Mariners single-season record when he notched his 49th save of the year by closing out a 6-3 win over the D-backs at Chase Field.

    But there was no fist pump, no excitement, and no celebration. Diaz is saving that for his next save—number 50. Earlier in the season, Seattle manager Scott Servais told Diaz that if he reached 50, he would get a haircut to match Diaz—lines and zig-zags shaved into the sides of the head.

    "I want to get my 50 to see the haircut," Diaz said.

    Diaz said that if he records his 50th save during the series in Arizona, he'll have his barber come to San Diego to give Servais the matching cut. Diaz recorded his 50th save the next day.

    August 28, 2018: While Diaz usually keeps the ball after each of his saves, he gave this one to Servais in honor of the bet.

    "We had a little bit of fun with it today," Servais said of the payoff. "I had no idea how white my scalp is and the gray is just that's it." Diaz supervised Servais' shearing while wearing an "Electric Eddie's Barbershop" cap that was gifted to him by the manager. "I think he looks good," Diaz said. "He looks like the best swaggered manager in the league right now." (Rill - mlb.com)

  • Sep 29, 2018: Mariners closer Edwin Diaz racked his 57th save of the season in the 4-1 win over the Rangers to move into a tie for the second-most saves in a season in Major League history. With just one game remaining, Diaz won't catch Francisco Rodriguez's 2008 record of 62, but he's now tied with Bobby Thigpen of the 1990 White Sox for second.
  • In 2018, Diaz had 57 saves to move into a tie for second on the all-time single-season saves list with Bobby Thigpen, five saves short of Francisco Rodriguez's 62-save season a decade ago. The soon-to-be-25-year-old uses just two pitches. But they’re both plus pitches. Diaz’s fastball, which he threw 62% of the time last season, clocks in at 97-mph. His other pitch is a devastating 89-mph hard slider that he threw 37% of the time. When you’re a closer and you have two plus pitches like that, two is all you need.

  • In 2018, Diaz was the AL Reliever of the Year. 

  • Jan 21, 2019: In terms of win probability added, the Mets' most significant offseason move may have been landing Diaz in the seven-player trade with the Mariners. It's difficult to overstate how dynamic Diaz was in 2019 in Seattle, saving 57 games in 61 chances with a 1.96 ERA and, perhaps most impressive, 124 strikeouts in 73.1 innings.

    The Mariners went 66-0 in games that Diaz entered with a lead. In New York, he will inherit the closer's job without competition.

  • Jacob deGrom may have saved the Mets again without even taking the mound. The ace recently offered some advice that could be key to the Mets getting back the Edwin Diaz they need.

    Diaz struck out the side in the Mets’ 10-7 loss to the Cubs on Aug. 28 at Citi Field, flashing a wipeout slider that had often gone missing in his season gone wrong. He has started using deGrom’s grip on the pitch, and it accounted for a vast improvement. (Greg Joyce - NY Post - Aug, 28, 2019)

  • Nov 5, 2019: After GM Brodie Van Wagenen traded for Diaz, buying high on a reliever who saved 57 games with a 1.96 ERA for the Mariners in 2018, Diaz finished with only 26 saves and a 5.59 ERA. He allowed as many home runs as in his previous two seasons combined, despite producing the third-best strikeout rate in baseball behind Josh Hader and Matt Barnes (minimum 30 appearances).

    Díaz believes his slider, against which opponents hit .297 with a .622 slugging percentage in 2019, represents the root of his issues. Unable to replicate his past success with that pitch, Díaz tinkered with his grip, trying to mimic that of Jacob deGrom. He plans to throw about seven to 10 bullpen sessions before arriving at Spring Training, 2020 compared to the five or six he threw last offseason in Puerto Rico. He’ll spend most of them attempting to refine his breaking ball.

    “For sure, the slider’s the most important pitch,” Díaz said. “My goal is to get that back to what it has been in years past. I’ve always said the fastball, anyone can hit the fastball. That’s a pitch about location. But the slider, that’s the main goal just to get that right again so I can be effective.” (A DiComo - MLB.com - Nov 5, 2019)

  • July 31, 2020: Hours before the Mets’ series opener in Atlanta, manager Luis Rojas met in person with closer (or perhaps former closer) Edwin Díaz to discuss what happened the previous night, when Díaz walked two batters, hit another, and allowed a run in a non-save situation.

    Rojas said he disliked some of the negative emotion that Díaz showed on the mound as he wrestled with his fastball and slider control. Díaz countered that he had not been used in five days, and felt uncomfortable with the long layoff. Each side acknowledged the other’s points, then moved on.

    Whether that will result in a role change for Díaz remains to be seen. Asked directly about how he plans to deploy Díaz, whose ERA nudged up to 5.67 since joining the Mets, Rojas said he considers him one of the Mets’ closing options—the same answer the manager consistently gave before the season began, despite the job clearly belonging to Díaz.  (A DiComo - MLB.com - July 31, 2020)

  • 2020 Season:  26 Appearances, 25.2 Innings Pitched, 2-1 Won-Loss Record, 1.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 6 Saves, 4 Blown Saves, 1 Hold, 50:14 K:BB Ratio, 1.3 WAR

    Edwin entered the 2020 season with huge pressure on him to rebound after a rough 2019 campaign. The year got off to a bad start for Diaz, who had two bad outings early to lose the closer’s role to Seth Lugo. The Mets let Diaz work out his issues in earlier innings before entrusting him to take back the closer’s job again once Lugo was needed in the rotation. Diaz did finish the season strong, with an 0.77 ERA and four saves in September. So it seems he's locked in the Mets’ closing job for 2021.

    Grade: A

    Diaz got off to a rocky start but managed to rebound to the point where he was a trustworthy closer down the stretch. The Mets didn’t get to see the Diaz who dominated baseball in 2018 for Seattle but this version looks like he could still be a keeper going forward.

    Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible (Second Time)

    Odds of Returning: 100%

    2021 Role: Closer

    The Mets will happily retain Diaz for 2021 and start the year with him as the closer. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Mets target another reliever with closing experience to give them a fallback if Diaz’s struggles with command return, but for now it looks like Diaz will be the team’s closer once again.  (Mike Phillips - Oct 28, 2020)

  • Dec 17, 2020: Díaz is seeking permission from the club to pitch in his native Puerto Rico before the 2021 pre-season starts.

    Noting that he views Spring Training as the “first month of the season,” Díaz says he likes to start facing hitters before he reports to camp. Given that he pitched only 25.2 innings for the Mets in 2020, he’s hoping to log a few innings in January with the Criollos de Caguas of the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League.

    “I think throwing four or five innings in the winter will help me fill the tank to be 100% ready when the season starts,” Díaz said.

    It remains unclear how the pandemic might impact Spring Training and the start of the regular season, while the specter of arm injuries figures to be a concern across the league following a truncated 60-game campaign. Nonetheless, Díaz says he is preparing for a 162-game schedule and that he is following his usual offseason routine with the blessing of Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, who manager Luis Rojas acknowledged will remain with the club.

    Acquired in a trade with the Mariners in December 2018, Díaz will be looking to build off a strong 2020 in which he made 26 appearances and posted a 1.75 ERA while striking out a whopping 45.5% (50 of 110) of the batters he faced and limiting them to just two home runs and a .191 average. Although Díaz blew four saves, his performance stood in sharp contrast with his first season in Queens in 2019, when he posted a 5.59 ERA in 66 appearances and finished with a league-worst 2.33 home runs per nine innings among relievers.

    “The most important thing was the location of the pitches,” Díaz said of his improvement. “This year, I was able to locate my fastball better and locate my slider better.” (N Alonso - MLB.com - Dec 17, 2020)

  • 2021 Season: Díaz posted 2.0 fWAR this year, which was the highest in the Mets’ bullpen for the second straight season. That total also has him among the top-10 relievers in baseball for this past year. After posting a career-worst 48.1% hard-hit rate allowed in 2019, he limited it to a 25.0% clip in 2020 before lowering that to 21.3% in 2021. (Matt Musico - Oct 11, 2021)

  • April 29, 2022: James McCann successfully navigated the Mets first no-hitter since Johan Santana in 2012 by catching starter Tylor Megill and relievers Drew Smith, Seth Lugo, Joely Rodriguez, and Edwin Diaz, the latter who struck out the side in the ninth to clinch an historic no-hitter in Queens.  (Ryan Chichester)

  • May 18, 2022: When two brothers both make it to Major League Baseball, it’s exciting to watch them both come into their own and kick off their careers.  Though usually with separate organizations, it’s still fun to watch the two of them do their thing.

    One day, a set of MLB brothers made some history, each recording a save.

    Mets’ closer Edwin Diaz took the mound in the ninth inning against the Cardinals. While he made things a little interesting, putting the tying runs on base, he managed to strike out Harrison Bader and put the game away.

    A few hours later in Cleveland, Edwin’s brother Alexis took the mound in the bottom of the tenth and struck out Jose Ramirez to earn a save for the Reds.  (Curt Bishop)

  • Sept 2, 2022: Díaz has been named the NL Reliever of the Month for August.

    Díaz has been named Reliever of the Month eight times (five in the AL and three in the NL) since the award was established in 2017, the most of any pitcher.

    The hard-throwing righty went 6-for-6 in save chances and struck out 16 batters while allowing only one run (0.84 ERA) over 10 2/3 innings in August. You might have also heard about his walk-up song becoming the hit of the summer in Queens.

  • 2022 Season: Díaz was the most dominant reliever in baseball in 2022, posting a 1.31 ERA in 61 appearances (62 innings), recording 32 saves for the Mets while striking out an incredible 50.2% of batters he faced. The 28-year-old flamethrower held opposing batters to a .160 batting average and walked only 18.

  • Oct 13, 2022: Díaz was voted 2022 Baseball Digest/eBay MLB Relief Pitcher of the Year by a 22-member blue-ribbon panel consisting of writers, broadcasters, former players, managers and executives.

  • Dec. 6, 2022:  Díaz won the 2022 Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award.

  • 2023 Nastiest Pitch on the Mets - Edwin Díaz's slider

    Díaz had one of the most dominant seasons by a closer ever, striking out over half the batters he faced with his slider as Weapon No. 1. It averaged 90.8 mph and hitters whiffed on 54.7% of their swings against it while striking out 88 times. (D Adler - MLB.com - Feb 6, 2023)
Fielding
  • Edwin is unable to control the running game. (2017)
Career Injury Report
  • March 15, 2023: Edwin Díaz injured his right knee in a post-game celebration, after closing out Puerto Rico's big win.  Diaz missed all of the 2023 season due a tore patellar tendon in his right knee, per reports.

    Sept 18, 2023: - Six months of rehab have yielded significant progress for Mets closer Edwin Díaz, but they won’t result in a return to a big-league mound this season. Díaz will not pitch down the stretch following surgery on March 16 to repair the patellar tendon in his right knee, according to pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.