By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Red Sox could be in the market for a new closer. And it sounds like Dave Dombrowski wants to go big again.
Seattle Mariners closer Edwin Diaz is reportedly drawing interest from the Red Sox, in addition to the Yankees, Braves, Phillies, and Mets, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. But there’s just one thing: the Mariners are dangling Diaz in an attempt to rid themselves of second baseman Robinson Cano and his $24 million salary for each of the next five seasons.
One could argue that there’s less than zero chance Dombrowski and the Red Sox are even remotely interested in that. Nobody should be particularly interested in taking on another second baseman in his mid-30s, who’s under contract for several years, and for significantly more than Dustin Pedroia at that. It’s also worth mentioning that Cano just served an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing substances in 2018, so who the hell knows what he’s going to have left at age 36 and beyond.
But back to Diaz. If the Red Sox can snag him from Seattle, he’d represent as good of a replacement as you can get for the likely departing Craig Kimbrel. He led the major leagues by far with 57 saves and struck out 124 batters in just 73.1 innings, an outrageous 15.2 strikeouts per nine. He consistently hits the upper-90s with his fastball and can throw 90-mph changeups to go with a plus slider. He’d be under team control in 2019 and arbitration eligible through 2022.
Would it be worth taking on the albatross that is Cano in order to land Diaz? Probably not. But it might not be as bad as giving up 600 prospects again.
The important thing here is that Dombrowski is seeking another high-end closer to replace Kimbrel. Diaz would certainly be that, and it would be hard for him to pitch any worse than Kimbrel did in October. Dombrowski has mentioned Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier as potential in-house candidates to close if he doesn’t make a big move.
But it sounds like the big move is coming again, whether it’s Diaz or not.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.