Mets bring back Jeurys Familia to be a setup man

The Mets made sure they didn’t leave the Winter Meetings empty handed, as they agreed to a 3/$30 contract with old friend Jeurys Familia early Thursday morning.

Familia had been the Mets closer until he was traded during the 2018 season. Familia enjoyed a bunch of success for the Mets in his first stint, including setting the club’s all-time Saves record with 51. But he also had some failures on the big stage, as he did not perform well in the 2015 World Series or in the 2016 Wild Card game. The former can be partially blamed on poor usage from his manager but there’s no excuse for the latter.

In previous years, it seemed the Mets placed a premium on people who performed well in New York previously. Perhaps that’s in play here again, as Familia comes back not as a closer but rather as a setup man to newly-acquired Edwin Diaz. Ten million per year seems like a hefty price for a setup man. But Familia brings that New York tested label and he obviously has previous closing experience, too. Clearly, the Mets thought it was worth paying for those two traits.

The Mets’ bullpen was so bad last year that it’s not too difficult to make the argument that it’s money well spent. We’ll need to find out what the final Opening Day payroll is before we can truly know if this was a good idea or not. Personally, my view is a strong lean that this was a good deal for the Mets. Just not quite all the way there.

Here’s the place to weigh in with your thoughts. If you want credibility at the end of the year, say now whether you think this was a good idea or not.

21 comments for “Mets bring back Jeurys Familia to be a setup man

  1. December 13, 2018 at 9:39 am

    It was more important to get a top flight lefty for the bullpen as I’m not sure that Daniel Zamora or Tim Peterson are going to pan out but I wanted a setup person to back up Diaz and Familia is more than I was expecting.

    The money isn’t great… but so long as the Mets still get a catcher and a center fielder without losing too much of our current talent I’ll be satisfied with the off season.

  2. TJ
    December 13, 2018 at 9:53 am

    So, count me strongly in favor of this move. I have heard a number of Met fans already belly aching about bringing him back, but to me he is the best 8th inning option on the market and the Mets got him. If they follow it up with Miller I will be thrilled. Yes, Miller comes with risk off last season, but he also come with a very high ceiling. Building a back end like this, married to the starters, makes them a team to be reckoned with in a tight division.

    If Miami doesn’t lower the price for Realmuto, I’d rather spend on A Pollock/Maldonado combo than a Grandal/? Combo. But they still need another back end arm in that pen.

    • December 13, 2018 at 10:42 am

      I beg to differ Familia got a few more mil than Kelly and is younger and has a way better track record.

  3. December 13, 2018 at 10:03 am

    I’ve been asking for Familia or Robertson for some time now. So I’m all for it. Diaz needs breaks too. You don’t expect him to save every game? When he has a night night off the Mets now have a plan B. Addition by Subtraction. If there’s no lefty in the pen so what? I want the best 8 or 9 pitchers regardless of which side they throw from. Either sign Grandal or Ramos And let’s forge ahead with the outfield as it is

  4. December 13, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Very happy to have the best reliever in Mets history back and he and Diaz should be the most dominant back end of the bullpen since Reed and Familia.

  5. December 13, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Between Gman and Lugo you probably only need to add one more flame thrower in the pen. Surely the Mets have someone in their system who can move in to fill that role.

  6. December 13, 2018 at 10:49 am

    I like it!

  7. John Fox
    December 13, 2018 at 11:02 am

    It’s a good move, Familia is a little younger at 29 than the other prominent relievers on the market, and the bullpen was one of the biggest areas of need for the team.

    • Steve S.
      December 13, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Exactly! He’s only 29 and still has good stuff and health. The deal is OK in this market. Now sign Miller.

  8. Mike Walczak
    December 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Or trade for LeClerc.

  9. Pete from NJ
    December 13, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    The pieces are starting to come together so it’s the catcher’s turn. Playing it safe with Will Ramos and his 100 games behind the plate.

    Oh that right handed hitting outfielder? That’s the next question.

    • December 13, 2018 at 11:16 pm

      Marwin Gonzalez solves both issues with back up for the infield and outfield. Can play multiple spots and saves a roster spot.

      • December 14, 2018 at 6:03 am


  10. Bob P
    December 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    I love the move. Regardless of his post season woes he’s been a great reliever for the Mets in his time here. As a set up guy, he should be awesome. There’s been a lot of griping from Met fans about this move because they point to the post season losses and to the number of time he makes you nervous with walking guys, or loading the bases before closing it out. Every closer you can think of, except maybe Rivera, has had those moments. Can’t think of a Mets closer that didn’t make us nervous at times. Franco, Benitez, KRod, etc. Orosco generally made me feel comfortable when he came in, but not many others.

  11. Chris F
    December 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Count me among the people not overly excited, and certainly not for 10M$ a year. I think Brian is right, he did perform in NY, fans mysteriously (to me) want him back. For me Familia is too inconsistent, tons of walks and hits for an unsightly WHIP as a closer (perhaps as set up guy that wont matter as much), and a post season serious disappointment.

    Makes me fear Flores isnt far behind for coming back…

    • TJ
      December 13, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      I’ll have to counter that with a few points. In relation to the Dodgers signing of Kelly, Familia is younger, has better peripherals, and has had dominant runs as a closer, in NYC. Playoff wise, he was bad vs. SF but gets slighted in 2015. He dominated the Dodgers and Cubs, closing out the Dodgers in an elimination game in their won building. In the WS, only 1 blown save was on him as the other two were the result of atrocious fielding. HE did put up a 1.80 ERA and 0.60 in that WS.

      He is/was arguably the best 8th inning guy on the market, since Kimbrel and Britton will almost certainly sign as closers. At $10 million year for his age 29-31 seasons, he is at market value…how does that look vs $8 million per year for Swarzak, Shaw, McGee, etc. This is the type of signing that big market contenders make, and now they should follow it up by adding another big backend arm to that pen. Given the challenges and risks offensively, they do have a chance to assemble the best 1 through 12 pitching staff in baseball. That excites me, but there is more work to do.

  12. MattyMets
    December 13, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    There were a number of alternatives that could have fit this role, but they were all either more expensive, much older or less sturdy, except for Adam Ottavino who doesn’t have nearly as much closing experience. All things considered, I like the move.

  13. NYM6986
    December 14, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Great move to solidify relief from the 6th inning on with interchangeable parts -Lugo, G-man, Familia and Diaz. They all get lefties out as well. Still need a lefty specialist. Two months till pitchers and catchers report!!

    • December 14, 2018 at 7:50 am

      Why do you need a lefty specialist when you just stated 4 relievers who can get lefties out? Why waste a roster spot for a pitcher who will pitch less than 50? innings. Better to apply that salary to a utility player like Marwin Gonzalez who takes up only one roster spot but can play multiple infield positions and the outfield.

  14. Metsense
    December 14, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Familia was an experienced closer for the Mets.Now he will lock down the 8th inning . He is young enough and his 3/30 contract was market value.Familia is a solid signing.

  15. Chris B
    December 16, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I support the signing for baseball reasons only, but would be disappointed if they don’t continue to bolster the pen with top talent. These are the Mets, guys will get hurt. And as we’ve seen time and time again, bullpen depth is instrumental come September, October.

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