On Tuesday night, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported that the Boston Red Sox were one of five teams interested in acquiring the services of Mariners closer and 2018 American League Reliever of the Year Edwin Diaz.
In his report, Sherman states that outside of Boston, other players for Diaz include the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies.
Given the fact that the Mariners dealt their ace, James Paxton, to the Yankees earlier in the month, it does appear as though Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto’s club is heading towards a retooling period beginning in 2019.
With that in mind, parting ways with the best closer in the American League West in exchange for a haul of prospects makes sense.
At just 24 years old, not only is Diaz coming off an elite season in which he recorded 57 saves and posted a K/9 of 15.2, he also has four more years of team control left before hitting free agency in 2022.
The Red Sox certainly do not have the farm system to produce the prospects the Mariners would be seeking in this potential deal, but if the club’s interest is that strong, there may be a way to get it done, albeit at a hefty price.
“Seattle is willing to consider less if a team takes on [Robinson] Cano, who is 36 and served an 80-game suspension last year for testing positive for a banned substance,” Sherman reports.
An eight-time All-Star, Cano inked a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners prior to the start of the 2014 season, meaning there is still five years and $120 million remaining on his contract.
With the Red Sox 2019 payroll already looking like it’s going to be one of the more expensive in baseball once again, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, or even principal owner John Henry, would be willing to take that much money on, especially when the team still owes second baseman Dustin Pedroia $40 million over the next three years.
Similar to how Dombrowski acquired another elite closer and current free agent in Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres with three-years remaining on his previous contract, landing Diaz for at least his age 25 to 28 seasons would be something.
But, barring a way the Red Sox find a position for Cano to play on a regular basis, I don’t believe the club has the prospects to offer that the Yankees, Phillies, or Braves have in order to get a deal done.
Regardless of that though, Diaz would be a fantastic addition to the end of a bullpen that had their struggles throughout the 2018 season. Winter Meetings begin on December 9th in Las Vegas, so maybe talks will materialize there.