Much like the New York Yankees did in 2016, the New York Mets will trade their closer in the next few weeks. However, the trade of Jeurys Familia won’t even compare to the Aroldis Chapman deal from two summers ago.
In 2016, the Chicago Cubs were eager to break their championship drought. They sent a huge haul to the New York Yankees in exchange for closer Aroldis Chapman. In 2018, the New York Mets have a chance to make a similar move with their closer, Jeurys Familia.
The circumstances are the same. Two years ago, Chapman was in the final year of his contract. Familia is facing free agency as well and is most certainly a trade candidate the Mets should move.
There is a major difference. Familia is not Chapman. Few closers are near his level.
When the Yankees sent Chapman to the Cubs, he was at the top of his game. Even as a rental, his talents far surpassed what Familia could do.
However, it’s not unbelievable to see the Mets landing a nice haul in return for Familia. Instead of receiving franchise-changing prospects, expect some chances and guys with high ceilings to join New York.
Few men can enter the ninth inning and get the job as regularly as Familia. Though shaky in many of his performances over the years, he regularly comes away with three outs and a victory for the Mets.
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Those late innings are becoming more important than ever for a team’s success. The last few World Series were won with strong relief performances. Sometimes, like when Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and the Charlie Morton/Brad Peacock duo in 2017, starters are the ones who get the job done. That’s because the team didn’t have enough elite relievers in their bullpen to get the job done.
Mets fans view Familia differently than most. They see him a whole lot more. His weaknesses are on the surface and not hidden in modern statistics we all pretend to fully understand. He’s a flawed pitcher who is still better than many others out there.
As we’ve seen in 2018, the hype is real.
There are no top five prospects out there for the Mets to acquire in exchange for Familia. I’m not certain they get a top 25 or a top 50 in return either. MLB’s best and most available minor leaguers aren’t ranked as high.
Nevertheless, the Mets must do their due diligence and get the best deal possible. Teams will call about Familia. It’s essential they get more than the feeling of helping out another organization by renting them their closer for a few months.
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This team needs a real prospect to help their future look a bit brighter.