Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz has established himself as one of the best relievers in MLB, and he reportedly will get paid as such after this season.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan said on The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday that Diaz’s performance could earn him the first nine-figure contract for a closer in MLB history.
“This was a guy who got traded to the Mets for Jarred Kelenic a couple years ago, it looked like a complete disaster of a deal,” Passan said. “But this is his free-agent year right now, and he’s been the best reliever in baseball. And he’s gonna go out and he may this offseason become the first 100-million-dollar closer.”
Diaz is in a three-way tie for fourth in the majors with 29 saves this season. Through 52 appearances, the right-hander has a 1.38 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP with 100 strikeouts in 52.1 innings pitched. It’s his first time reaching 100 strikeouts since his career-high 124 in 2018, which was his last season with the Seattle Mariners.
Amid Diaz’s stellar performance on the mound, he’s grown into a fan favorite because of his entrance music. The Mets hosted artist Timmy Trumpet to perform the song live as Diaz entered Wednesday’s game to close out a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers:
Passan explained that Diaz’s growing popularity is making him a marketable star who can draw in more fans who just want to see him lock down the final inning.
“I think part of it [is] when you factor in, if you’re a baseball team, the idea that you can market your closer, that you can market the ninth inning as something that everybody wants to watch,” Passan said. “I want someone to come up with an app that says, ‘The closer is coming in right now, I want to watch him shove for one inning.'”
With Diaz at the back end of their bullpen, the Mets (83-48) are expected to make a strong run this postseason. They haven’t been in the playoffs since 2016, which was one year after they lost to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.