While most of the early rumors surrounding the Dodgers this offseason have been based on free agent acquisitions, this is one of the first few which would potentially involve a trade.
Granted, like much of the other gossip swirling these days, the whispers surrounding Diaz are purely hypothetical. A prospective deal was conjured by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, whose main purpose behind his story was to provide a few suggestions for the Mets’ black hole in center field.
Unquestionably, this deal is as one-sided as far as the eye can see. Initially, Sherman’s thoughts centered on a deal involving Diaz for Hernandez straight up, but the writer felt that Hernandez alone was not enough of a return for the New York closer.
Indeed, Sherman’s thought process is valid as far as the immediate needs for both clubs go. The Mets need a bonafide center fielder desperately—especially from a defensive standpoint. This is a spot where the jack-of-all trades Hernandez, a defensive specialist in his own right, could certainly thrive. Furthermore, Stripling could conceivably slide into the five-slot in a very talented New York rotation, assuming the spot of new free agent righty Zack Wheeler—another player the Dodgers have been thought to have interest.
For the Dodgers, the notion of bringing in another closer behind Kenley Jansen—or someone who has the ability to close—has been a popular concept dating back to the early stages of the 2019 season. Joe Kelly was once thought to be that guy, but aside from a few glimpses of his old self late in the summer, Kelly was never able to live up to the hype behind his name.
Consequently, Justin Turner has already stated his willingness to slide to first base in the event of an upgrade at the hot corner (see the Anthony Rendon rumors), but Lowrie certainly would not prompt such a move, as Lowrie’s arrival in Los Angeles would be nothing more than a salary dump for New York.
The 35-year-old Lowrie logged just nine big league games for the Mets last year after suffering a knee sprain, a hamstring strain, and a problem with his calf late in the year.
Last season, Diaz registered a dreadful 5.59 ERA, a 1.379 WHIP and a 4.51 FIP for the Mets over 48 appearances in his age-25 season. All this after he led the majors with 57 saves in his brilliant 2018 campaign. That was the season the hard-throwing righty was selected to his first All-Star squad, posting an impressive 1.96 ERA and a 1.61 FIP over an MLB-leading 65 games finished in the process.
While front office boss Andrew Friedman and his team are notoriously infamous for their reclamation projects—especially among pitchers—the retirement of Rick Honeycutt could cause the team to think twice when investing in such players.
At the end of the day, the Dodgers would probably thank Sherman for his concern in helping address the needs at the backend of the Los Angeles bullpen, however ridiculous the return for the Boys in Blue may be.