The New York Mets had high hopes entering the postseason despite relinquishing the NL East lead in the last week of the regular season. Finishing with 101 wins, the Mets were heavily favored in their Wild Card round clash against the San Diego Padres, but they ended up losing the series, ruining what could have been their best chance to avenge their World Series loss in 2015, what with crucial pieces of their team such as Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom (player option), and Brandon Nimmo set to enter free agency.
The Mets will have to open up the coffers to retain the aforementioned fixtures of their 26-man lineup, but they will have plenty of rivals for their players’ signatures, especially for their ace deGrom, who has arguably been baseball’s best pitcher over the past five seasons when healthy.
However, the Mets are deemed to be the likely favorites to retain the services of closer Edwin Diaz, who was dominant in 2022, posting 118 strikeouts and a 1.31 ERA in 62 innings, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
“Star closer Edwin Diaz is beloved throughout the Mets organization, and they believe they have the best chance to keep him among their biggest free agents,” Heyman wrote.
The 28-year old reliever had a tumultuous start to his Mets tenure, posting a 5.59 ERA following his blockbuster acquisition in 2019. Still, the cream manages to rise to the top, and Diaz quickly turned things around in the following seasons, having found the shutdown form he displayed with the Seattle Mariners.
Still, Mets fans will love it if the front office showed a more concerted effort to pursue Jacob deGrom, who has shown he can will the Mets to victory with one excellent pitching performance after another. While deGrom is already 34 years of age, it’s difficult to envision him suffering a sudden drop-off, especially after his five-year run of Cy Young-caliber performances.
In spite of all the injury woes he’s suffered over the past year or so, deGrom is still lights out even if his ERA in 2022 isn’t the sub-3 figure it has been in recent memory. Recovering from multiple setbacks from a shoulder injury, deGrom still managed to post a 3.08 ERA to go along with 102 strikeouts in 64.1 innings. He also did his part in the Mets’ short-lived 2022 playoff run, pitching his team to a Game 2 victory.
Nevertheless, the Mets will be more than happy to retain Edwin Diaz, especially with Max Scherzer still in town to front their vaunted starting rotation.