Red Sox sign past-his-prime relief pitcher Jeurys Familia after Phillies release
What a time to be a fan of the Boston Red Sox.
In the worst way.
Since the beginning of August, the Sox have made a slew of trades and roster moves, almost none of them good. Some backfired immediately, like releasing Jackie Bradley Jr., only for the Toronto Blue Jays to sign him for pennies to play against his former team. But the worst move is the latest one: the Sox have signed Jeurys Familia, whom the Philadelphia Phillies released last week, to a minor-league contract.
If I somehow manifested this, I am so sorry.
Familia spent the bulk of his career with the New York Mets before signing a one-year deal with the Phillies for the ongoing season. He also served a 15-game suspension under MLB and the MLBPA’s ‘Joint Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy,’ though the charges against him were eventually dropped.
Aside from how inexpensive it is, what is the upside in this deal? Familia is no longer the dominant pitcher he once was. Over 34 innings with the Phillies this season, the 32-year-old righty posted a career-worst 6.09 ERA. He allowed 23 runs, almost matching his total from 2021, when he appeared in nearly twice as many games. His strikeout rate is the fourth-lowest of his 11-year career, and opposing batters are hitting .338/.405/.528 with a .933 OPS against him, with a 9% increase in hard-hit balls. In other words, he was bad enough that the Phillies were willing to eat the $6M contract they tendered in order to jettison him.
The best years of Familia’s career are behind him. On the other hand, if he gets called up from Tripl-A, he’ll fit right in with this disaster of a team.