The New York Mets are hoping Edwin Diaz can solidify the back end of the bullpen. The dynamic closer says he’s ready to go.
Edwin Diaz was caught off guard when he was sent from the Seattle Mariners to the New York Mets. He wasn’t expecting to go anywhere, but that’s baseball and he’s at peace with it.
“I was expecting to be with (the Mariners) because they told me they would not trade me,” Diaz said early Wednesday morning at the Mets spring training complex per Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. “I got surprised when they called me and I got traded to the Mets. But I take that as a positive. They helped me, they gave me the opportunity to play baseball. So now, I know this business. And I’m happy to be here.”
Diaz shouldn’t be too upset about the trade. He’s still going to close games and he joins a team that can contend in the National League East despite a poor showing in 2018. Diaz’s addition is huge for a bullpen that lacked depth last season.
The Mets will need Diaz at his best this year. The starting rotation remains the strength of this team. A strong bullpen featuring the likes of Diaz, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and Jeurys Familia could be enough to put the Mets over the top.
“I think it’s the same game, same place, same field, nothing changed,” Diaz said. “New team, that’s the only thing. But I’m ready to go.”
Diaz, 24, had a breakout year with the Mariners in 2018. He posted a sparkling ERA of 1.96 in 73.1 innings. Furthermore, he led all of Major League Baseball with 57 saves.
Time will tell how Diaz and the rest of the bullpen perform in 2019. For the right-handed hurler from Puerto Rico, the confidence is clearly there. Now it’s about backing it up on the field.