There’s a chance we see Jeurys Familia pitching for the New York Mets in 2021 as the club’s mop-up man.
It’s hard to believe that Jeurys Familia was ever a talented closer for the New York Mets. After what we witnessed in 2019, it’s hard to believe he ever made an All-Star team.
Although things weren’t as bleak in 2020, the sample size was far too small to feel much more confident in the veteran reliever. Familia still walked a ton of batters and in a full year, I think his weaknesses would have caught up with him.
When Familia returned to the Mets for the 2019 season after spending a few months with the Oakland Athletics, he joined the team with the plan of making him a setup man. Familia would handle the eighth inning with new stud closer Edwin Diaz closing things out in the ninth. The plan seemed perfect on paper. In reality, it was horrific to watch.
Familia’s time as the setup man didn’t last beyond 2019. In 2020, the Mets used him in less pressurized situations. In 2021, I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets downgraded even more.
The Mets bullpen is filling up fast. With the Trevor May signing, return of Dellin Betances and Brad Brach, plus a few other moves, it’s looking more and more like Familia will slip down the depth chart.
Mop-up men are important in baseball. They are the ones that eat the innings in blowouts going in either direction. When your team is way ahead, you need someone to ensure things don’t sway back the other way. When your team is losing, you put them on the mound to get through the pain.
Familia’s contract will pay him $11.66 million in 2021. Barring some kind of major move I cannot foresee, he’ll be the highest-paid reliever on the Mets. In fact, he’ll be one of the highest-paid in all of baseball.
The new Familia deal wasn’t supposed to go like this. He was supposed to give the team quality late innings in close games. When Diaz or any other closer was out of action, he was meant to fill in as the man to record the final three outs.
Like many Brodie Van Wagenen moves, this one looks like a dud.
Familia will have a purpose on the 2021 Mets. It just won’t be as originally anticipated.
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From one of the league’s top closers to a setup man for a brief time to mop-up duties, this is where Familia’s career has gone.