The Phillies have designated right-hander Jeurys Familia for assignment, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber reports (Twitter link). Right-hander Francisco Morales and outfielder Mickey Moniak will fill in the open spots on the Phillies’ roster tonight, replacing Familia and the also-designated Odubel Herrera.
Familia signed a one-year, $6MM contract with the Phillies in March, joining an NL East rival after spending almost his entire career with the Mets. At his best, Familia was one of the top relievers in baseball, both as a setup man and as a closer, highlighted by a 51-save, All-Star season in 2016.
The righty had become much more inconsistent since those prime years, but still had a 3.94 ERA and an above-average strikeout rate over 59 1/3 frames with New York in 2021. A big dropoff in hard-contract rate, however, was a red flag in hindsight, as Familia has struggled badly since joining the Phillies. Between a 6.09 ERA and a blue-tinged Statcast page, not much has gone right for Familia, and he has added to the Phillies’ list of struggling relievers in recent years. Familia has also had a drop in velocity, as his 95.4 mph average fastball (while still big compared to most pitchers) is down from 96.7 mph last year.
With a little over $2MM still owed on Familia’s contract, the 32-year-old is very likely to pass through the DFA wire without a claim, so the Phillies will be responsible for the remainder of that salary. A team that signs Familia after the fact would then owe him just the prorated minimum salary, and given his past track record, it seems like another club is likely to give Familia a look to see if a change of scenery would help.