Chicago Cubs: Want Edwin Diaz? It’s a pipe dream
While the most attractive players on Seattle’s roster would unquestionably be closer Edwin Diaz (the MLB leader in saves) and Mitch Haniger (first-time All-Star who will likely be retained for a bargain contract), they would each cost a fortune to acquire.
Haniger does not really suit the Cubs anyway, seeing as Chicago already has over $100 million committed to Jason Heyward in right field for the next five years.
Diaz would be a more intriguing acquisition. The Mariners still have multiple years of team control over the 24-year-old, which makes his contract situation extremely team-friendly. And that may be an understatement, considering Diaz notched 57 saves last season with a 1.96 ERA and an absurd 1.61 FIP in addition to an astronomical 15.2 K/9 rate.
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Brandon Morrow was dynamic as the Cubs’ closer when he was healthy, but he missed the entire second half and his injury history is stacking up in a hurry. Not only is Diaz young, but his arrival would allow Morrow return to more of a setup role that could be shared with (likely) Pedro Strop. Thus, the right-hander would be spared from pitching multiple days in a row, which has proved to be a boon for his health.
The problem is that Chicago would likely have to sell the house for Diaz, starting with top prospect Adbert Alzolay and, likely, multiple big league pieces.
Of course, Diaz’s youth would seem to negate the loss of Alzolay, but the Cubs are already thin on starting pitching prospects, many of whom they need to develop quickly given the ages of the pitchers currently in the rotation.