5:22pm: Familia will make $1.5MM if he makes it to the majors with $500K in performance bonuses also available, per Joel Sherman of The New York Post.
4:55pm: The Diamondbacks have signed right-hander Jeurys Familia to a minor league deal, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The ACES client will receive an invitation to major league Spring Training.
Familia, 33, has had many good years in the big leagues but is coming off a terrible campaign in 2022. From 2014 to 2021, he made 482 appearances, mostly with the Mets, with a 3.20 ERA in that time. His 10.5% walk rate was a bit on the high side but he struck out 25.2% of batters faced in that time and got grounders on 55.5% of balls in play.
Last year, however, was a completely different story. He signed a $6MM deal with the Phillies and made 38 appearances for them but posted a 6.09 ERA in that time while his strikeout rate fell to 20.9%. He was released in August and latched on with the Red Sox for a while but posted a 6.10 ERA in 10 appearances for them. A .386 batting average on balls in play could have made things look worse than they really were, but it’s not like everything can be explained away by bad luck. Familia’s Statcast page is an icy blue, since he was in the third percentile in terms of hard hit rate, fourth percentile for average exit velocity and eighth percentile in barrel rate.
The Diamondbacks had a rough showing from their bullpen last year. Their relievers posted a collective 4.58 ERA for the year, a mark that bested just five other teams in the majors. They’ve made a few moves to address the relief corps for the upcoming season, including signing Miguel Castro and Scott McGough, grabbing Cole Sulser off waivers and trading for Carlos Vargas. By signing Familia, they’ve essentially taken a no-risk flier on a veteran with a lengthy track record of success. He’ll give them some extra depth without taking up a roster spot for the time being.