With Edwin Diaz injury, who becomes the New York Mets closer?
The worst-case scenario has become a reality for Edwin Diaz and the New York Mets.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan and multiple other sources have confirmed that Diaz will have to undergo surgery after tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee in a celebration following his ninth-inning dominance that helped Puerto Rico eliminate the Dominican Republic from the World Baseball Classic. The surgery will cost Diaz the entire season.
With Edwin Diaz out, who becomes the closer for the New York Mets?
It is very likely that David Robertson, signed this offseason by the Mets to a one-year, $10 million deal, will slide into the closer role in the absence of Diaz. Robertson picked up 20 saves last season between the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies and has 157 saves in his 14-year MLB career. The 37-year-old right-hander has the ideal resumé to step into the role.
While Diaz used a mix of slider and fastball to become one of the league’s dominant closers last season, Robertson relies on an effective cutter, curveball, and slider, pitches that helped him post a .176 xBA last season along with a 2.40 ERA and 1.162 WHIP in 63.2 innings.
Another option could be Adam Ottavino, who hasn’t posted double-digit saves since logging 11 with the Boston Red Sox in 2021, the only season where he has posted more than 10 in a campaign. The 37-year-old right-hander had just three saves last season as he served primarily as a setup man for Diaz. Ottavino has served as closer with the Colorado Rockies and Red Sox, so he has the mentality to take on the role.
New York could start the season with a closer-by-committee approach, but it’s clear there are options in house to take over for Diaz. While it’s by no means an ideal scenario, Steve Cohen’s offseason spending built depth in the bullpen will likely pay dividends now.
Should the Mets struggle in the late innings at the start of the season, don’t be surprised if New York targets a closer at the trade deadline.