Diaz and the Mets avoided arbitration Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $7 million deal, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. Diaz didn't manage to keep the closer job all season last year thanks to some early-season struggles, but his year-end numbers represented quite an impressive bounceback from his poor 2019 campaign. He finished the year with a career-low 1.75 ERA and a career-high 45.5 percent strikeout rate, presumably setting himself up quite well to be the Mets' closer again in 2021.
Diaz gave up a run on two hits in the ninth inning Thursday against the Nationals but escaped with his sixth save of the season. He struck out one batter. Diaz's streak of consecutive scoreless appearances ended at 10, but he eventually shut the door, making him 4-for-4 in save chances this month. The right-hander has a sparkling 1.80 ERA overall this season, though he lost the closer role for a while early on and it took Seth Lugo returning to the rotation for him to get it back. Diaz faces an uncertain future with the organization.
Diaz worked around a base hit to turn in a scoreless ninth inning en route to notching his fifth save of the season Tuesday in the Mets' 5-2 win over the Rays. Diaz also struck out a batter in the 16-pitch outing, his 10th straight scoreless appearance. During that span, Diaz has compiled an eye-popping 20 strikeouts in 11 innings while allowing four hits and six walks. Manager Luis Rojas hasn't formally appointed a new closer since Seth Lugo joined the rotation in mid-August, but Diaz's usage (and success) in recent weeks suggests he's recaptured the job.
Diaz pitched a scoreless ninth Wednesday, allowing one hit and striking out three to earn his fourth save of the season. Diaz was called upon in the ninth to preserve a one-run lead after the Mets went ahead in the top half of the inning and struck out the side. After a rocky 2019, Diaz has returned to dominant form with a 1.71 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 45:11 K:BB across 21 innings this season.
Diaz pitched a scoreless ninth Wednesday against the Orioles, allowing a hit while striking out a batter as he picked up save No. 3 on the season. Diaz allowed a quick single to begin the frame but retired the next three batters for his third save in six attempts. Despite being unable to consistently pick up saves, Diaz sports a 1.89 ERA along with a 39:11 K:BB across 19 innings and is locked into the team's closer role.