Edwin Diaz Undergoes Surgery To Repair Patellar Tendon


7:14pm: Diaz underwent successful surgery to repair the patellar tendon, the Mets announced. He and doctors will formulate a rehab program next week.

12:39pm: Mets closer Edwin Diaz will undergo surgery this afternoon to repair a full-thickness tear of the patellar tendon in his right knee, general manager Billy Eppler announced this afternoon. The general timeline for recovery is around eight months, although in certain cases it’s possible to return in closer to six months. The team is not providing a specific timeline for Diaz’s return for the time being. SNY’s Andy Martino first tweeted that Diaz was dealing with an injury to his patellar tendon.

Diaz closed out last night’s World Baseball Classic quarterfinal matchup pitting his native Puerto Rico against the Dominican Republic with a scoreless frame. He was injured during the subsequent celebration. Diaz was helped to his feet by teammates and trainers before eventually being placed in a wheelchair and taken off the field.

It’s a devastating loss for the Mets and the worst fear of any team allowing a star player to participate in the World Baseball Classic. Diaz was baseball’s most dominant reliever in 2022, punching out a comical 50.2% of his opponents en route to a 1.31 ERA and 32 saves. It was his second sub-2.00 ERA of the past three seasons — the first came in just 25 2/3 frames during the shortened 2020 campaign — and a strong enough showing to convince the Mets to re-sign the 28-year-old fireballer on a record-setting five-year, $102MM deal just one day after the 2022 World Series concluded.

With Diaz sidelined for what could be the entire season, the Mets’ bullpen will instead lean on veterans like David Robertson and Adam Ottavino in the late innings. New York was already set to experience a good bit of turnover after seeing Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Mychal Givens, Joely Rodriguez and Trevor Williams depart as free agents. None from that bunch, of course, is as impactful a loss as that of Diaz. His absence will place a strain on the relief corps as a whole and perhaps spur the Mets to explore the market to bring in some bullpen help from outside the organization.

The free-agent market has been largely picked over, though former All-Star Zack Britton remains unsigned and the Mets (perhaps not coincidentally) attended a workout he held for teams earlier today, per Mike Puma of the New York Post. There aren’t any impact relievers known to be available via trade at the moment, though the Mets could always try to pry a high-end reliever away from a rebuilding club like the Pirates (David Bednar) or Royals (Scott Barlow). More likely, the Mets will ride veteran arms like Robertson and Ottavino through the season’s early stages and revisit the market for bullpen additions this summer, when the supply of available arms will be considerably larger.

From a payroll vantage point, it’s worth emphasizing that players who participate in the World Baseball Classic are covered under an insurance policy regardless of the severity of their injury, as Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times reported back in February. Insurance, or lack thereof, is the reason that Clayton Kershaw did not participate in this year’s tournament, as his injury history was deemed too high-risk to be covered under the umbrella policy. Kershaw looked into taking out a personal insurance policy but ultimately announced that he would not be a part of Team USA.

The insurance coverage is a silver lining for the Mets, but given owner Steve Cohen’s apparently limitless appetite for spending, likely only a small one. The broader concern is the subtraction of one of baseball’s most talented pitchers from a roster that’s expected to vie for a title in one of baseball’s most competitive divisions. The Mets are joined by the 2021 World Series champion Braves and 2022 NL champion Phillies in the National League East, and they’ll now be without both Diaz and lefty Jose Quintana (out until at least July) for significant periods of time — quite likely the whole season for Diaz — as they look to capture their first division crown since 2015.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login