PORT ST. LUCIE — The Mets will receive compensation for Edwin Díaz’s salary during the star’s time closer to the injured list after he suffered a torn patellar tendon during the World Baseball Classic, league sources confirmed to The athletic.
The Mets will ultimately not pay Díaz because the injury occurred while he was competing in the WBC. Major League Baseball has insurance to protect the team in these types of circumstances. As the New York Post first reported Thursday night, if the right-hander does not return this season, MLB insurance would cover Díaz’s 2023 salary of $18.64 million. However, it is unclear whether his salary still counts for the luxury tax.
The general timeline for recovery from surgery is usually about eight months, said Mets general manager Billy Eppler, who would rule Díaz out for the 2023 season. Diaz underwent surgery Thursday and is expected to begin a formal rehabilitation program in about a week .
Díaz was celebrating with his Puerto Rico teammates after a 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic when he was injured in a collision during the celebration, a person briefed on the matter said The athletic.
Under Steve Cohen’s ownership, the Mets have shown a willingness to pay a heavy price for the cost of winning. The Mets’ total financial outlay for 2023 — meaning the player’s payroll and the luxury tax penalty they would pay — is $445 million. Given that context, it’s hard to say how much saving on the cost of Díaz’s salary matters; it’s not that the figure would have prevented Cohen from spending money in the future. Last month he said, “When I do something, I don’t do something halfway. If I’m in, I’m all in. I don’t do well with mediocrity. And so I have certain high expectations. If I have to invest in this club, I will.”
Still, the Mets were able to use the refunded salary. As a team with expectations to enter a World Series, New York may be even better positioned to bring in more cash by the trade deadline. Clearly, the Mets would rather have Díaz, the game’s best close, healthy, and thriving.
(Top photo Edwin Díaz: Brad Penner / USA Today)