Edwin Díaz is anticipated to overlook 2023 season. What are Mets’ choices?

The recreation was possible over by the point the trumpets performed.

That was what the Mets had come to anticipate out of their fierce nearer. Edwin Díaz on the mound in a save state of affairs in Queens meant hundreds of followers had been on their ft, nonetheless swaying to the tune of “Narco” by Timmy Trumpet, and the ultimate out, signaling a Mets win, can be simply moments away.

But weeks away from Mets’ Opening Day, Díaz possible heard the trumpets for the final time this yr when he jogged from the bullpen to report the save for workforce Puerto Rico on Wednesday night time in Miami. Díaz secured the ultimate three outs towards the Dominican Republic within the World Baseball Classic, sending Puerto Rico to the quarterfinals, then sustained a tear of his proper patellar tendon whereas celebrating with teammates.

Díaz was taken off the sphere in a wheelchair. As his brother, Alexis Díaz, cried on the sphere, Edwin Díaz gave a ultimate fist bump to followers earlier than disappearing into the loanDepot Park tunnel, the place he was examined by a Mets physician. 

Immediately, Díaz’s ailing proper knee appeared like a “textbook” patellar tendon damage, Mets normal supervisor Billy Eppler stated. The following morning, additional testing and scans confirmed it. Eppler didn’t go into element relating to how the damage precisely occurred throughout Puerto Rico’s celebrations.

He underwent surgical procedure Thursday. A timeline for this kind of damage is often eight months, so Díaz is anticipated to overlook the whole thing of the Mets’ 2023 season. There is not less than a risk that Díaz may by no means be the identical. It’s a nightmare situation for the Mets, Major League Baseball and the WBC.

“It’s such a freak accident,” Mets proprietor Steve Cohen advised FOX Sports on Thursday. “Just so unlucky. He’s such a good guy. It’s just terrible. He just wants to win a World Series, that’s what he expresses to me. We’re all just kind of taking it all in right now.”

“I feel terrible for Díaz because he has so much charisma around him, and he has so much weight to him when he comes onto the field,” Brandon Nimmo advised reporters. “The trumpets are blaring. We obviously enjoyed the heck out of it last year and what he did. So I’m really hurting for Edwin.” 

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Edwin Díaz injures proper knee

Edwin Díaz injures right knee

Edwin Diaz leaves the sphere in a wheelchair after being injured within the postgame celebration.

Díaz’s significance to the Mets can’t be overstated, and he can’t be changed. In his greatest season since becoming a member of the Mets in 2019, Díaz final yr posted a 1.31 ERA, a 0.90 FIP, struck out 118 batters (or almost two batters an inning) and recorded 32 saves.

The 28-year-old, coming off an All-Star 2022 season that additionally garnered Cy Young award votes, was the Mets’ greatest precedence this previous offseason as he entered free company. Hours after the Houston Astros received the World Series, the Mets agreed to a five-year, $102 million contract with Díaz, taking him off the board on the primary day of free company. 

Díaz’s record-breaking contract not solely indicated how vital he’s to the Mets, but in addition how significant he’s to baseball as the sport’s greatest nearer. His skill to bounce again from an terrible Mets debut, marred by blown save after blown save, and make everybody neglect about his first impression solely provides to his legend. During that 2019 season, Díaz dealt with the criticism with grace and kindness. He stayed accountable all through, which is uncommon and appreciated in New York. He set an instance for the way to reply to harsh judgment, and that response stays a significant a part of why he is revered within the recreation. 

Losing him for the 2023 season is as a lot a significant loss for baseball as it’s for the Mets.

“Aside from being the best closer in the game right now and being a huge part of this team, Sugar is one of the glue guys in that clubhouse,” Puerto Rico teammate Enrique Hernández stated Wednesday night time. “He’s been leading the charge in terms of setting up parties for us … to start getting together as a team. He has a really big bank account, but his heart is way bigger than his bank account is. He’s one of the really special human beings we have in that clubhouse.”

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As a results of the Díaz damage, the WBC is beneath scrutiny by followers for permitting its star gamers to be put in danger so near the beginning of the season. MLB already is aware of that the timing of the event shouldn’t be ultimate, as pitchers specifically have opted to not play within the Classic as they proceed to construct up from the lengthy offseason. Going ahead, it is attainable MLB could have added bother getting its stars to compete within the WBC due to the influence of Díaz’s damage. 

As for the Mets, Eppler stated: “In general, we are not given too many opportunities to stand in the way when a player goes.” There are sure standards, Eppler continued, that must be met for a participant to not take part.

As a number of different Mets stars, together with Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, proceed enjoying within the WBC, the Mets must flip the web page and determine how one can get their ultimate three outs within the common season and, they hope, past. 

Their in-house nearer candidates embody Adam Ottavino and David Robertson, each of whom have observe information of saving video games. Robertson, who was signed by the Mets this offseason on a one-year, $10 million contract, recorded 39 saves for the Yankees in 2014, and the veteran reliever has collected 157 saves in his 14-year major-league profession. It’s straightforward to think about a better competitors between Robertson and Ottavino as spring coaching ends.

The Mets may additionally look to enhance their grim bullpen state of affairs by trying exterior the group. Free agent Zack Britton is probably the most logical choice for the Mets, and the workforce is reportedly within the combine as the previous Yankees reliever is about to carry a showcase on Thursday. Britton performed beneath then-Orioles supervisor Buck Showalter for eight years in Baltimore, and the Mets had been reportedly within the left-handed reliever even earlier than the Díaz damage. With Britton being a Scott Boras shopper, the Mets may need to pay up for Britton. But that’s one division Cohen’s Mets don’t be concerned a lot about. 

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The Amazin’s 2023 payroll is almost $400 million, the biggest this sport has seen in its historical past, and the Mets are nonetheless World Series or bust with or with out Díaz. The Mets are led by an proprietor who’s captivated with ending their 37-year championship drought. They function a star-studded and veteran roster with a slim window to win all of it. As of now, on the day of Díaz’s surgical procedure, it is robust to think about how the Mets will overcome the lack of an irreplaceable participant and nonetheless stay a World Series contender. But the chief of the group and Mets gamers are not less than staying optimistic – sans trumpets. 

“This game has got a lot of good players,” Cohen stated. “I’m not happy about what’s happened, but I’m always optimistic.” 

“I can’t think of any team that’s ever gone through an entire season and not had some sort of major blow,” Justin Verlander stated. “But I think you have to remain positive. Sometimes the best moments in your career or in a season come from tough situations. Hopefully, at the end of the year we can be standing there victorious, and Edwin can be up there with us, and we can all celebrate together.”

Deesha Thosar is an MLB author for FOX Sports. She beforehand coated the Mets as a beat reporter for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

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