Edwin Diaz could immediately solidify the Braves’ bullpen

EDWIN-DIAZ

Between all the Thanksgiving meals and wonderful football this past week, a few baseball rumors slipped under the radar. One of the more interesting ones regarded the Braves’ interest in Mariners closer, Edwin Diaz.

Diaz drawing interest from multiple contending teams should come as no surprise. The 24-year old closed out a major-league leading 57 games last season while recording a 1.96 ERA. He was obviously an All-Star but even finished in the top-10 in Cy Young voting and top-20 in the AL MVP race.

The question is why would be Mariners be interested in dealing him?

Seattle is coming off a bit of a surprising season that saw them come a win shy of ninety. Of course, in the American League that wasn’t even good enough to be in contention come September. The Mariners weren’t supposed to be competitive last year and they certainly don’t have pieces to compete in 2019. Their run differential last season strongly suggests that it is not sustainable. They are beginning to strip the team down an embark on a similar rebuild that the Braves have just finished.

That all started with their trade of James Paxton to the Yankees, and according to Morosi, they have no plans to stop dealing.

However, even staring at a monumental rebuild, the Mariners could opt to hold onto Diaz considering his age and contract situation. They may view him as a piece to build around when they finally are competitive, or they could view him as expendable due to his position and state of the franchise, much as the Braves did with Craig Kimbrel when they decided to rebuild.

Diaz is under manageable team control through 2022, so there’s no rush for the Mariners here. They have already made it clear that it is going to take an offer that blows them away to pull the trigger. However, the Braves have the necessary prospects to make them think about it. If Anthopoulos is truly hell-bent on not overspending for bullpen help, acquiring Diaz through a trade would be a costly (prospect wise) yet ultra-competitive win-now move, given the uncertainty revolving around Arodys Vizcaino’s durability.

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