Familia, 32, is a veteran who is in his 11th MLB season, having previously donned the jerseys of the Mets, A’s and Phillies. For his career, he’s thrown 532 2/3 innings with a 3.46 ERA, 24.5% strikeout rate, 10.8% walk rate and 54.7% ground ball rate. His best stretch was with the Mets from 2014 to 2018, though his performance has fallen off since then.
A free agent this offseason, Familia was signed by the Phillies to a one-year deal that came with a $6MM guarantee and incentives. Through 34 innings on the year, Familia has registered an ERA of 6.09, along with a 20.9% strikeout rate, 9.5% walk rate and 48.1% ground ball rate. He was designated for assignment and then released last week.
The Red Sox will be taking a chance that Familia can bounce back, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility. He has a .408 batting average on balls in play this year, well above his .303 career rate. He also has a strand rate of just 68.3% on the season, compared to a 74.9% clip for his career. As such, the advanced metrics feel he deserved better than that 6.09 ERA, as he has a 4.71 xERA, 4.88 FIP, 4.15 xFIP and 3.91 SIERA.
Since Familia was released by the Phillies, they are paying out the remainder of his contract. If the Red Sox eventually select him to the big league club, they will only be responsible for the prorated league minimum, with that amount being subtracted from what Philly pays. That means this is effectively a no-cost way for Boston to improve its bullpen depth.