The Phillies are in agreement with reliever Jeurys Familia, pending a physical, reports Robert Murray of FanSided (Twitter link). It’s a one-year, $6MM guarantee for the ACES client, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). The deal also contains an additional $1MM in possible incentives.
Familia has a solid track record throughout his ten-year MLB career. He owns six seasons with at least 20+ innings of sub-4.00 ERA ball, including a three-year peak when he was one of the top late-game arms in baseball. Familia was a dominant option for the Mets from 2014-16, including a league-best 51-save 2016 campaign. The righty’s strikeout rates were good but not elite; instead, he thrived on racking up ground-balls at a massive clip.
Since that prime, Familia’s performance has fluctuated. He followed up a solid 2018 showing with a rocky campaign. Familia’s run prevention in 2020 (3.71 ERA in 26 2/3 innings) was alright, but his strikeout and walk numbers that year were dismal. His ERA ticked up a bit to 3.94 last season, but Familia’s K/BB rates were better. He punched out an impressive 27.5% of opponents; his 10.3% walk rate remained a bit high, but it marked a notable improvement over the prior year’s 15.8% mark.
As he has throughout his career, Familia did a nice job keeping the ball on the ground. Last year’s 51% rate wasn’t at his peak levels, but it’s still far above the 43.1% league average for bullpen arms. That’s no doubt of appeal to a Philadelphia team that plays in one of the league’s most hitter-friendly home ballparks. Familia’s home run rate spiked a bit last season, but he’s traditionally been excellent at keeping the ball in the yard.
He was also one of the hardest throwers remaining on the free agent market. Familia averaged 97.3 MPH on his heater last season, and he’ll give skipper Joe Girardi another power arm he can rely upon late in games. It’s possible the 32-year-old even picks up some save opportunities. He’s worked in the middle innings over the past few seasons, but he’d obviously shown himself capable of having success in the ninth earlier in his career. At present, fellow offseason signee Corey Knebel seems the favorite for saves, but the Phils didn’t promise him the closer’s role when they added him before the lockout. If Girardi prefers to use Knebel in high-leverage work earlier in games, Familia could be an option to pick up some ninth-inning time.
Of course, it’s also possible the Phillies make another bullpen pickup or two in the coming weeks. Philadelphia’s troubles holding leads in recent years have been well-documented. Last year, Phillie relievers tied with the Nationals for the league lead in blown saves (34). The Phils have seen Héctor Neris and Archie Bradley hit free agency (Bradley remains unsigned), leaving Connor Brogdon as the only returning bullpen arm who tossed 20+ innings with a sub-4.00 ERA.
The Phillies created a spot on the 40-man roster this evening by placing left-hander JoJo Romero on the 60-day injured list. The 25-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery last May; given the timeline of that procedure, it’s no surprise he’ll miss at least the first two months of the season.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.
Good signing by the Phillies.
I step away to finish my taxes for a couple hours and the floodgates have opened.
Not with their infield defense!!
Von, I believe you are a Phillies fan. Are you more upset about his downward trend as a pitcher or the DV allegations from his past? Not trying to start any arguments, I am genuinely curious.
considering the fact that the bullpen has been historically bad the past few years, you’d expect the Phils to aim a bit higher than Familia. Very little upside here.
He is a proven closer with success in NY, but yessh. His numbers are spiraling downward and he has a DV history.
Familia tends to be either very on or very off. When his sinker is going good, he can be nasty. But his control is definitely an issue. Wouldn’t want him taking the ball in a big spot with runners on base.
My feelings exactly raltongo. Even with the increased threshold, the Phillies only have so much money to spend. They needed a back-end reliever and there’s nothing to suggest that Familia any longer fits that bill. If it were $3-4mm I probably wouldn’t have much of a complaint.
At least they didn’t pay him the $10m a year for 3 years like the Mets did last time.
He has not been a closer in NY for several years. As for his “success”, many would disagree with that characterization. Maybe survival would be a better description.
Purely from the baseball side of things, his best days are way behind him. Super inconsistent and *always* puts someone on base. For your sake, hopefully he can eat some innings around league-average ERA. $6 million seems like a lot for a low-upside reliever.
I’m sorry man. lol I’m legit psyched he’s not on the Mets this year.
I’m not thrilled with the signing for the Phils, but I think Mets fans are fooling themselves if they think he doesn’t leave a void in the pen.
I find it hard to believe that they cannot find someone else to fill that void. Even a minor leaguer would probably be better and would be much cheaper.
If the Phillies already had an established bullpen and were looking to round things out, then this might be a good add.
Good luck in this signing. Sometimes the best signing is the one you let another club make
Yeah, FA throttle is WIDE OPEN, baby! This is absolutely fantastic with all the articles of signings today, with only the YANKEES (non)signings that are conspicuously absent….
Can’t wait for the Mets to hit homers off him as revenge.
But all jokes aside, despite some crazy hair pulling moments, I’m thankful for his contribution to the Mets over the years.
Thank God he is no longer a Met
He was homer prone last year and now he goes to a bandbox
Yeah, not exactly the right park for him, but as long as he never needs to close, he still can get guys out.
Sometimes he can get guys. When he throws 4 straight pitches in dirt, he usually doesn’t get guys out
Go look at his stats at cbp
He’s good, just gives you a heart attack and almost never pitches a clean save, but he’ll get you there
Phillies bullpen is a constant heart attack.
Thought you were talking about Neris lol
Except Neris’s heart attacks ended up killing something – most leads.
Neris is better than Familia. Trust me. Familia’s going to get rocked in Citizen’s Bank.
I don’t think there’s anyone else out there with experience that Dombrowski can bring in.
I keep writing that teams have to make their own players better at the major league level. This is particularly true regarding bullpen pitchers – the most volatile component part of a MLB roster. Recent sustainable contenders do: The Dodgers, Giants, Astros, Rays, Brewers, etc. Unfortunately, in recent years the Phillies have been very poor in this area regarding all players – and especially the bullpen. $6m is a lot of money to spend for a bullpen pitcher as inconsistent as Familia. Each year teams such as Cleveland will find a few guys for 15-20% of that salary and get decent production out of them.
You’re not wrong. I just think the Phillies missed the boat with some better options. Familia does not do well in CBP. In theory the Phillies pen is currently full of all flamethrowers who break 95+. So that’s not terrible.
I can’t even have dinner without three more signings. Much better than CBA talk.
But little signings. Big Bats still out their.
First Ristolainen now this. WTF
Man, I miss Rasmus.
LAWL! So glad not to see him in orange and blue! Guy made me drink for years lol
You and me both lol
Didn’t see Familia going to Philly. Depending on the price, not a bad signing.
He reminds me of neris but hopefully there is a move or two still coming
Being a Mets fans… That’s going to be bizarre to see him in a Phillies uniform. This deal might add years to my life though. You just never know what you’re going to get from him.
Apparently, money talks and shizzle walks.
Wish him the best.
dynamite drop in monty
Why isn’t he in prison
Partial to Colome and not sure about $6 here but I don’t dislike this.
This is one of the few times I’ve totally disagreed with you.
I don’t like it either. Familia walks way too many hitters I like both Brogdon and Coonrod better than Familia.
except both are still going to be in the pen. it’s not either/or.
As a Mets fan, I approve this transaction.
Same here. Won’t have to watch him put two or three guys on base in every appearance.
Time to buy some antacid stock. The stuff will really sell well at CBP. He left holes in my gut. Ball one, ball two, strike one, strike two, ball three….Nasty stuff but sometimes you just need to challenge hitters when you have the lead. Come to think of it Edwin Diaz is still around to provide that same uneasy feeling.
You realize the fanbase you’re talking to? We would have killed for someone with Familia’s track record a few years ago. Not so much now though.
This is not going to turn out well. I see a bunch of balls going over the fence in late innings at the bank.
I dislike this immensely
Girardi is gonna say the same thing about this signing in July.
I am Girardi
As a Mets fan, I could not be happier to see this announcement. He can suck for another team, and the Mets don’t risk signing him again. Win-win situation.
Misterbill nails it!
He’s better than the slop they’ve trotted out there the past few years which isn’t saying much at all
The reality is that there isn’t much available in bullpen arms. Guys like this are a decent find in this market, though he may still bomb. The better finds are in the trade market, but even then there’s great risk of the trade not working out. Bullpen market is very volatile. You get what you can and never stop looking for more.
Conor Gillaspie wishes you good luck.
“Good pick up. Now we’re getting there with some moves.” – Phillies Phans
“Big waste of money. Absolutely a horrible pitcher.” – Met fans
“Meh…” – every other fan base.
You Can Put It In The Books
A bit of a salty overgeneralization, but okay. It’s not a waste of money. He’s just not a very good fit for CBP.
That’s the key really. He gets rocked here. Now granted, the Phillies lineup hit him well, but the ballpark plays a factor. Familia has good stuff. Still hits close to 97, but I don’t think he’s a great fit.
You Can Put It In The Books
His sinker/splitter (not even sure what it is) is a great pitch when he locates. When he was throwing it 95+ back in 2014-2016, it was unhittable.
Seems like a notable anecdote about his career is missing.
Not a bad signing but this guy did have zero WAR last year
That’s why you don’t use WAR to judge a player. It doesn’t take an unprovable stat to determine how valuable a player is or how he performed.
Phillies need a Colin McHugh type … You won’t win much games in this league without a somewhat good bullpen. You can try to compete all you want if the bullpen will come in and throw the game away in a inning.
This is the most dombrowski move ever. He did this with Detroit over and over again but never quite solved the bullpen by adding guys past their prime that used to have a couple good seasons. Joe Johnson Papa Grande Todd Jones Joe Nathan the list goes on and on and on…
Ouch. Familia is truly why you can’t just look at stats. He routinely will put the first two guys on base, allow the tying and/or go ahead runs score, then induce a ground out. Sure his stat line will look good, big he lets game after game get away. If you bring him into a game with a big lead, he’ll find a way to make it closer than it should be. Any time you can get a few outs from him and still have the lead, you breath a sigh of relief.
Backup Catcher to the Backup Catcher
For the past four or five years the Phillies have had terrible luck with bullpen signings. Don’t know what to expect from Familia, but the bar for improvement in Philly is set so low that any nudge forward is gonna be a plus.
Now we gotta find a LF and CF. Hope Cigar Guy’s (Middleton) wallet is thick because that’s the only way we’re gonna get what we need since trading prospects for a proven veterans) is off the table because our farm system stinks.
I like them to spend big on Correa or Story to play SS. Then platoon Didi and McCutchen in LF. Yes, re-sign Cutch to a one-year deal. He crushed LH pitching last year..
Didi in LF, you ask? Yeah, why not? There’s an old baseball maxim that suggests, if you can play SS, you can play anywhere on the grass or dirt.
Backup Catcher to the Backup Catcher
Also, make Bryce Stott an OF and let him marinate at AAA for about 200 at bats. Then bring him up and put him in CF because, by that time, we’ll have seen all we want to see of Haseley, Moniak and Kingery playing there.
Is he the Mets pitcher that beat his wife/gf or the one that kept taking PED’s? I know that doesn’t limit it down much. While we are on the topic, rumors have it that the Mets are looking hard to trade for Ozuna. Something about the “passion” he brings to the game lol
Nice try to get out in front by deflecting on Ozuna. He’s all yours.
Alex Gordon broke him.
Any chance to improve the Philadelphia bullpen is commendable. But I’m not sure that Familia is the answer.