Phillies to sign reliever Jeurys Familia

The Phillies have reached an agreement with free-agent reliever Jeurys Familia, a source confirmed. The deal, first reported by Fansided, is pending a physical. It’s for one year and $6 million and can be worth up to $7 million, according to the New York Post.

Familia has spent all but two months of his 10-year career with the New York Mets, re-signing with them after a deadline deal to Oakland in 2018. In 65 appearances last season, he had a 3.94 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 59⅓ innings . He walked 27, allowed 10 home runs and blew six saves, three in a two-week span in August. Walks have been an issue for Familia in recent seasons — 88 in 146 innings since 2019.

The 32-year-old right-hander has maintained his upper-90s velocity, averaging 97 mph with his sinker and four-seam fastball in 2021. He threw his sinker 60 percent of the time last season, with 23 percent sliders, 14 percent four-seamers and 3 percent splitters. Familia is a groundball pitcher who didn’t quite live up to his standard last season but has a career groundball rate of 55 percent, about 12 percentage points above the league average.

Familia is the second veteran reliever the Phillies have signed to a big-league deal this offseason, following the December 1 signing of right-hander Corey Knebel to a one-year contract. Knebel was not promised the closer’s role but will have a good chance to win the job.

The one-year, $6 million price tag for Familia is the same the Phillies paid for Archie Bradley last offseason. Familia will likely be compared throughout the year to Hector Neris, who signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the Astros prior to the lockout. Saturday was a busy day in the market for setup men, with the Phillies bringing in Familia, the White Sox adding Joe Kelly and the Rockies Alex Colome.

Familia has been a seventh- or eighth-inning guy for the bulk of his career, though he did lead the majors with 51 saves in 2016. He was an All-Star that year with a 2.55 ERA. From 2014-16, he had a 2.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, averaging 77 appearances. Since, his ERA is 4.15 and his WHIP is 1.45.

The Phillies are probably not done adding to a bullpen that has mightily struggled the last two seasons. The unit has a lot of velocity with Familia, Knebel, Connor Brogdon, Sam Coonrod, left-hander Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez but could still use several more reliable late-inning options, ideally one from the left side.

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