Edwin Diaz is one of the best closers in baseball, and the Red Sox are reportedly interested in acquiring him. According to the New York Post, Boston joins the Mets, Yankees, Braves, and Phillies as teams that have expressed the "strongest interest" in Diaz.
Seattle's 24-year-old closer is coming off a career, and historic, season. He struck out 124 batters in 73 1/3 innings (15.2 K/9), recorded a 1.96 ERA, and saved 57 games, tied for the second highest total in baseball history. Diaz made his first All-Star team and finished eighth in the AL Cy Young voting.
Diaz features an upper 90's fastball and a devastating 90 mph slider that opponents hit just .133 against, according to Brooks Baseball.
The major road block to acquiring Diaz, assuming current closer Craig Kimbrel walks in free agency, would be Robinson Cano.
Wait, what? Yep, former Yankee, Robby Cano.
Cano, 36, is entering his sixth year of a ten year, $240 million contract he signed with Seattle prior to the 2014 campaign.
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The second basemen's production has been pretty much up to the high standards of his contract, but he still has five years left making $24 million a season.
The Mariners, who already traded ace James Paxton to the Yankees, are beginning a rebuild. Cano is not part of the future and Seattle doesn't want to pay out his contract. Cue an "I'll told you so" from everyone who said it was a bad idea to sign a 31 year-old, no matter how good he was/is, to one of the largest contracts ever.
Any team interested in acquiring Diaz is reportedly being asked to potentially take on Cano, and a large portion of his remaining contract. Just yesterday, a Cano-Ellsbury salary dump swap fell through. The Mets have dangled Jay Bruce in talks for Cano.
It's hard to believe Boston, already balancing the luxury tax highwire, would be willing to acquire Cano.
Let's see what Dave Dombrowski cooks up.
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