Well isn’t this a pickle.
Yesterday, NJ.com released the 911 call made by Jeurys Familia’s wife to police on Oct. 31, saying the Mets closer was drunk and out of control.
“My husband had a little bit of alcohol, and he’s going crazy,” the closer’s wife, Bianca Rivas, told a police dispatcher.
“All right. Your husband is drinking and you’re in a dispute with him?” the dispatcher asked.
“Yeah. He’s drinking. He’s kind of drunk,” she said.
All of this looks bad and legally it will have to play out in the court system. However, the Mets need to be concerned too, because Familia will probably get suspended next season and it will probably be a long one at that.
Three players received suspensions for domestic violence last year for three different lengths. Aroldis Chapman got 30 games and he wasn’t even arrested. Jose Reyes was arrested and the charges dropped and sat out 52 games, while the Braves Hector Olivera got just over half a season (82 games) and he was arrested and the trial was ongoing.
Based on that and based on Familia getting arrested, he can expect anywhere from 52 to 82 games for his actions, which will put him in the middle of June to the middle of July to start his year.
That’s a large chunk of games to not have your closer.
Last season, maybe the single reason why the Mets were able to stay in the race and ultimately win the Wild Card was that the eighth and ninth were shutdown innings by Addison Reed and Familia.
So it’s going to be very important for the Mets to get someone to fill-in for Familia as he sits out the pending suspension. In fact, just as re-signing Yoenis Cespedes is priority No. 1, getting a late inning reliever has to be No. 1A. We have learned having a porous bullpen always comes back to bite you.
This is where it gets tricky. Unless they plan on trading Familia, don’t expect general manager Sandy Alderson won’t pay up for one of the premium closers on the market. Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon, and Chapman will all get their money elsewhere.
The Mets will probably be better off moving Addison Reed to the ninth inning, since he closed games with the White Sox and Diamondbacks and then get a great eighth inning guy.
With Reed a pending free agent after next season, the Mets can use their signing with Reed at the end of games and then when Familia comes back, just move him back to the seventh inning. In the past two seasons, the club made late season trades for Reed and Fernando Salas, so essentially Familia is going to be the deadline trade for the Mets this coming season.
They may want to target Naftali Feliz, Joe Blanton, Sergio Romo, and even Salas are on the market. The Mets would be well served by locking up one of them on a two or three year deal.
Reed leaves after the season and the Mets bullpen is still set with Familia and one of the setup men.
Familia will be getting suspended. There is no doubt and the Mets have an idea for how long. They need to be out in front of this and treat their closer like an injured player who is out until the All-Star break in order to plan for next season.
The tapes were horrible and in light of what happened, monitoring the situation is not enough. The club needs to make contingency plans now.