The Phillies made their first post-lockout move Saturday night in signing former Mets reliever Jeurys Familia. The Phils signed the 32-year-old reached a one-year, $6 million deal that could be worth as much as $7 million with incentives.
Some people were very happy with this deal, and some people were not so thrilled. Here I present to you the upsides and downsides of the deal:
It’s always fun to start with the positives.
Familia has spent all but two months of his 10-year career with the Mets, re-signing with them after a deadline deal to Oakland in 2018. He has been a seventh-or eighth-inning guy for the majority of his career, though he did lead the majors with 51 saves in 2016. He was an All-Star that year with a 2.55 ERA. From 2014-16, he had a 2.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, averaging 77 appearances.
With the the signing of Corey Knebel before the stoppage, he will probably be the closer this season. Familia is there to set him up. And if Knebel fails, Familia will become the closer.
The Phils needed a guy like Familia. He’s there in the pen and can get the job done. And he wasn’t very expensive.
Although the upsides sound great, these’ll change your mind.
In 65 appearances last season, he had a 3.94 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings. He walked 27, allowed 10 home runs and blew six saves, three in a two-week span in August. Walks have been an issue for Familia in recent seasons — 88 in 146 innings since 2019. Since 2016, his ERA is 4.15 and his WHIP is 1.45. Although Familia has been better in 2020 and 2021 than 2019 when you started to drastically decline, but still 4.56 FIP and -0.1 fWAR.
And per some Mets fans, they’re very happy they won’t have a heart attack at the end of every game from this guy. So this obviously isn’t ideal.
Familia will likely be compared throughout the year to Hector Neris, who signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the Astros prior to the lockout. So take that how you want it.
The downsides are very dramatic. And when you compare them to the upsides, it doesn’t look good. But, it’s an arm in bullpen that needs help desperately.