The New York Mets have taken the next step towards fixing their beleaguered bullpen by signing Jeurys Familia to a three-year deal, pending a physical. The news broke late last night at around 2:20am ET and was first reported by Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. The deal is expected to be in the neighborhood of $25 million, according to Tim Healey.
Familia spent the first six-and-a-half seasons of his career with the Mets and became the team’s closer in 2015. He made 313 total appearances and tossed 321.1 innings for the club while posting a 2.66 ERA and a 2.92 FIP and striking out 329 batters. Last season, he had a 2.88 ERA and a 2.55 FIP in 40.2 innings with the Mets, to go along with a 25.2% strikeout rate and an 8.2% walk rate. He holds the franchise’s single-season saves record with 51 in 2016, and his 123 saves rank third all-time behind John Franco and Armando Benitez.
The Mets traded Familia to the Oakland Athletics last July in a deal that netted the club Bobby Wahl, William Toffey, and international slot money. After arriving in Oakland, Familia pitched 31.1 innings and ended the year with a 3.45 ERA and a 2.78 FIP. Familia pitched a scoreless inning for the Athletics in the American League Wild Card game.
Familia—who will serve as the setup man to the recently acquired Edwin Diaz—gives Mickey Callaway another reliable option out of the bullpen and somebody who he has plenty of experience pitching in New York. Brodie Van Wagenen has made the bullpen a priority early in this offseason with the Diaz and Familia acquisitions, and he is likely not finished yet. The Mets have previously been linked to several free agent relief pitchers, including Andrew Miller, David Robertson, Adam Ottavino, and Joe Kelly.