Veteran Right-Hander Expected To Slide Into Setup Role In Front Of Newly Acquired Closer Diaz


LAS VEGAS (CBSNewYork/AP) — The revamped New York Mets bullpen is set to include a very familiar face — longtime reliever Jeurys Familia.

Familia reached a free-agent deal with the team that traded him away last summer, a person with knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press late Wednesday night.

Familia agreed to a $30 million deal over three years. The person spoke on condition of anonymity at the winter meetings because the team had not yet announced the move. Familia likely must pass a physical for the contract to be finalized.

The 29-year-old righty will join a Mets bullpen that recently added major league saves leader Edwin Diaz in a trade with Seattle that also netted longtime All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, a move made by new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

Jeurys Familia reacts

Closer Jeurys Familia celebrates after the Mets defeated the Kansas City Royals 2-1 at Citi Field on June 21, 2016. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Familia had spent his entire career with New York before being traded to Oakland last July. This move likely means Familia will slide back into a setup role, where he flourished as a rookie in 2014.

“Diaz is going to be our closer, for several reasons,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “He had great success in that role last year. I would hate to take him out of that role.”

Familia was a combined 8-6 with 18 saves in 24 chances and a 3.13 ERA for the Mets and A’s last season. He has 123 career saves for the Mets, who signed him at age 17.

Andrew Miller, Adam Ottavino and David Robertson are among the other relievers on the free-agent market. The Mets, looking to bounce back from consecutive losing seasons, are hoping for a quick turnaround with Van Wagenen in charge.

Familia posted 43 saves in 2015 when the Mets made it to the World Series. He led the majors with a franchise-record 51 saves the following year and was an All-Star, again helping New York reach the playoffs.

Familia served a 15-game suspension at the start of 2017 for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. Later that year, he had a blood clot that required surgery and finished 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA and six saves in 26 games.

Last season, he was 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 17 saves in 21 chances with the Mets. He struck out 43 and walked 14 in 40 appearances covering 40 2/3 innings.

The Mets got two minor leaguers from Oakland for Familia, acquiring Triple-A righty Bobby Wahl and Class A third baseman Will Toffey, and $1 million in international signing bonus pool allotment.

Working mostly as a setup man for A’s closer Blake Treinen, Familia was 4-2 with one save and a 3.45 ERA in 30 games as Oakland earned an AL wild card.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)