While relief pitchers may be transient by nature, the New York Mets have had a long standing relationship with Jeurys Familia. He has spent all but three months of his professional career in New York, that only departure happening when he was traded to Oakland at the deadline in 2018. However, Familia quickly signed a three year deal to return to the Mets as the two sides obviously value that relationship.
That three year contract is now over, with Familia back in free agency. That does not mean that he is going anywhere, as the Mets and Familia had reportedly remained in contact prior to the lockout.
New York Mets looking to keep Jeurys Familia
The Mets were certainly active before the lockout. They rebuilt their outfield, improved their infield depth, and added another ace to the rotation. Yet, even with those improvements, the bullpen is an area of concern, especially with Aaron Loup departing for the west coast.
Familia had once been an All Star closer, notching over 40 saves in both 2015 and 2016, leading the majors with 51 saves in that latter year. Even though he is not that pitcher any longer, he has been a solid reliever, someone that the Mets have been able to count on as a bridge to the ninth inning.
He had another solid showing in 2021. Familia posted a 3.94 ERA and a 1.416 WHiP in his 59.1 innings, striking out 72 batters with 27 walks. There were reasons for concern as Familia allowed ten homers, but his walk rate decreased to acceptable levels last season.
Even if Familia returns, the Mets would still have work to do with the bullpen. They still need to replace Loup and would still want to add another solid arm or two despite the overall success of their relief corps last season. Those flashy signings will not mean anything if the Mets are unable to hold leads in the late innings.
The New York Mets are looking to bring Jeurys Familia back for 2022. Considering he has not willingly left the team, a reunion is likely.