Mets need to keep Jeurys Familia in the closer role to increase trade value
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets need to think about keeping Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning in order to get the most back for him in a possible trade.
The best trade chip the New York Mets have is not Jacob deGrom. Can we even call him a trade chip? They would be absolute fools to move him. Until they’re able to escape other bad contracts, the Mets need to keep their ace.
One needs to look a little deeper into this pitching staff to find the best trade candidate on this roster. They need to go all the way to the ninth inning and find Jeurys Familia.
Familia wouldn’t bring back the same haul as deGrom, but that’s now what I would consider “best.” So few teams could afford deGrom. Three of the best fits (Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies) have no shot at getting him.
This leaves the Mets with one sometimes shaky closer to shop around this summer in order to help rebuild the farm.
Closers are a premium asset in late July. When playoff hopefuls realize their ninth-inning man has not been on-point, they often turn to other ball clubs to find some help. I have no doubt plenty of phone calls will go into Sandy Alderson’s office asking about Familia.
Mets fans aren’t as fond of Familia as I think the rest of the league is. He’s comparatively better than most closers. When he’s gone, fans are going to miss him.
Familia has continued to take on the majority of save opportunities in 2018. Only recently has Mickey Callaway used Robert Gsellman in the situation. If it continues, this takes away from some of the value Familia has at the trade deadline.
I like to think baseball general managers are smart enough to know what Familia is whether he pitches in the ninth or first inning. I’m also inclined to believe they could use this against the Mets.
If Familia was truly the phenomenal closer the Mets will promote him as, why move him from the final three outs? The Boston Red Sox wouldn’t dare do that with Craig Kimbrel. I don’t see Aaron Boone bringing Aroldis Chapman into the eighth inning to face two lefties and then going to David Robertson in the ninth.
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The closer spot is one of the few positions where you’re not looking at matchups. You’re going to the guy with the toughness to slam the door shut.
Familia has not been the most reliable bullpen arm for the Mets this year.
However, through his first 25 games, Familia has a 2.08 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. His four blown saves in 18 opportunities isn’t a ringing endorsement. We have to remember, closers are streaky and it shows with Familia. Three of his blown saves came within five appearances in late April. None of them were complete implosions either.
I hate to believe the season is over for this team. Unfortunately, selling off the soon-to-be free agents looks like a summer storyline we all need to stomach.
To make sure they come away with more than low-rated relief pitchers at this year’s trade deadline, the Mets need to showcase their assets.
Familia has done nothing to lose the closer role. By removing him from it, they are affectively telling the rest of the baseball world that he’s only a part-time closer and not worth the same as others in his position.
Next: Who do we blame for the bad Mets bullpen?
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What do you think the Mets could get back in return for Familia?