NY Sports Day

Familia Bids Farewell Amid Trade Rumors

Neil Miller

It’s not official yet, but Jeurys Familia looks to be on his way out of New York.

“I love this team, I love my teammates, I have good memories here,” Familia told reports in the clubhouse after Friday night’s 7–5 win over the Yankees. Familia said the situation was tough and that he was waiting for more information from his agent.

Familia was not used in the win at Yankee Stadium. Mickey Callaway was told during the middle of the game not to use him as a trade might be in the works. Oakland seems to be a likely landing spot.

“Obviously he’s been probably one of the better closers I would think in the history,” Callaway said of Familia.

Familia’s 123 saves are the third-most in team history behind John Franco (276) and Armando Benitez (160). His 313 appearances are the ninth most in Mets history, and the fourth-most by a right-handler.

He signed with the Mets back in 2007 and made the majors in 2012 as a September call up. He was a starter throughout his minor league career but only made one start with the Mets at the end of the 2012 season.

In 2014, he set a Met rookie record with 76 appearances.

He was expected to be the set-up man for Jenrry Mejia in 2015, but when Mejia was suspended by Major League Baseball, Familia took over as closer. He responded by saving 43 games and putting up a 1.85 ERA.

In the NLDS against the Dodgers, he retired all 16 batters he faced including a two-inning save in the decisive Game 5 in Los Angeles. And against the Cubs in the NLCS, Familia saved the first three games and then pitched a scoreless ninth inning in Game 4, striking out Dexter Fowler to win the pennant.

The fun ended in the World Series as Familia blew three saves against the Royals, even though Alex Gordon’s Game 1 homer was the only earned run he was hanged with.

In 2016, he saved a team record 51 games, in a season the Mets took one of the NL wild card spots with 87 wins. He was one of the most valuable Mets but he surrendered a three-run homer to Conor Gillespie in the wild card loss to the Giants.

Injuries limited him to 26 games in 2017, and he is 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 17 saves in an up and down 2018 campaign.

Familia’s legacy is interesting. A closer who saved 94 games over two playoff runs but who gave up two of the most heartbreaking home runs in Mets history, which is saying something. A man who was honored at the Thurman Munson Award Dinner for work in the community but was later suspended for 15 games in connection with domestic violence accusations involving his wife.

On Friday night, Familia and Jerry Blevins embraced in the bullpen after the final out was recorded. And he hugged his teammates in the clubhouse in what are probably his final hours in the blue and orange

“He’s done a great job for the organization,” Callaway said. “Such a great guy with everybody in the clubhouse and the staff, so he’s a guy you can count on to go out there and pitch high leverage innings and keep in the game or win a game, and he’d be missed.”


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