The New York Mets are left reeling after closer Edwin Díaz suffered an injury while playing for Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic (WBC). It has left a gaping hole in their bullpen as Opening Day looms.
Díaz had a fantastic 2019 season with the Mets, with 26 saves and a 1.50 ERA across 58 appearances. He was set to be an integral part of their bullpen in 2020, but now the Mets and their fans are left worrying about the future. Here are four routes the Mets can take to fill the void left by Díaz’s injury:
1. Promote from within: The Mets have several arms in their bullpen who could step up as the closer. Jeurys Familia has experience closing and has had success in the past, while Seth Lugo has emerged as a dominant reliever in recent years. Both have closer stuff and could potentially fill in for Díaz. The Mets could also consider promoting from their Triple-A affiliate, with pitchers like Paul Sewald or Drew Smith possibly getting the call-up.
2. Sign a free agent: There are still several free agents available who could provide relief depth for the Mets. Blake Treinen and Steve Cishek are both accomplished closers who could step in if needed. Sergio Romo and Hector Rondon are also experienced bullpen arms who could be options for the Mets.
3. Make a trade: The Mets could look to make a trade to bolster their bullpen, potentially even acquiring a closer. It may be difficult to find a trade partner willing to part with a closer, but the Mets could explore options with teams like the Cleveland Indians or San Francisco Giants, who have depth in their bullpens.
4. Utilize a closer-by-committee approach: This is probably the least desirable option for the Mets, but they could opt for a closer-by-committee approach while Díaz recovers. This would involve using several relievers in the closer role, depending on the situation. While it may not be ideal, it would allow the Mets to get by without their star closer.
The loss of Díaz is undoubtedly a blow for the Mets, but they have several options to explore before the season starts. Whether they promote from within, sign a free agent, make a trade or utilize a closer-by-committee approach, the Mets will need their bullpen to step up and fill the void left by Díaz’s injury.