New GM Brodie Van Wagenen told New York Mets fans he doesn’t sleep and he proved that on Wednesday. At about 3 AM ET, it was announced that Van Wagenen and the Mets have reached an agreement to bring Jeurys Familia back to Queens on a three year, $30 million deal.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2018
Familia certainly could’ve seen offers this close this offseason. However, he loved New York and expressed interest in returning to the club. At this price, the Mets are getting a dominant set-up man for new closer Edwin Diaz. In the event new closer Diaz struggles or gets hurt, they also have an experienced closer on the roster. This is certainly a tremendous addition for Van Wagenen and company.
A Look at Familia’s Career
The Mets signed Familia as an amateur free agent in 2007. He made his debut in 2012, and his role expanded quickly. By 2015, Familia was serving as the closer of the New York Mets.
That year he played a vital role in helping the team take home the National League pennant. He set the then franchise single season record with 44 saves in 76 games. He also posted a stellar 1.85 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
Familia was stellar throughout the postseason, recording a combined five saves in the NLDS and NLCS. However, he struggled on the biggest stage and blew three saves in the World Series.
Familia followed that up with an even better 2016 season. He broke his own saves record again, as he recorded a league leading 51 saves. And again he recorded just a 2.55 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and finished seventeenth in NL MVP voting.
In 2017, Familia was suspended for the first 15 games of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. After returning, Familia was diagnosed with an arterial clot in his right shoulder and was forced to undergo surgery. He pitched just 24 innings that season.
Last season, he began the year still with the Mets. He struggle at times like the rest of the Mets bullpen, but recorded 17 saves with a 2.88 ERA.
At the deadline, he was shipped to the contending Oakland Athletics for three prospects. Familia was forced into a setup role behind closer Blake Treinen. He appeared in 30 games as an A and recorded a 4-2 record and a 3.45 ERA.
What He Brings to the Mets
While Familia certainly had his struggles at times, he was one of the greatest Mets closers of all time. He figures to serve as a setup man for recently acquired closer Edwin Diaz. This is a nice little bridge in the Mets bullpen.
They now have four quality arms at their disposal in Familia, Diaz, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman. Familia also brings experience closing games in New York, and can serve as a nice mentor for Diaz. Van Wagenen should not stop here, lefty Andrew Miller should be next on his bullpen list.