What if I told you there was a top 10 reliever in baseball, who despite being beguiled by much of his own fanbase, took a hometown discount to return to his team in a lesser role? You’d probably look at me sheepishly confused and go through the names of several top notch relievers before arriving at Jeurys Familia, and maybe even tell me he’s not a top 10 reliever and refer to a couple of poor postseason games.
The fact is, Familia has been really, really excellent and is largely unappreciated by the Mets fan base, in large part due to three blown saves in the 15′ World Series (two of which were in large part due to horrific infield defense, and one that he was basically handed by Tyler Clippard). In fairness to his detractors, he blew game 1 on a quick pitch to Alex Gordon and the next season failed to keep a 0-0 game locked down by giving up a 3 run longball to Conor Gillaspie.
Although we can look at Familia’s larger body of work and realize two poor postseason innings just don’t mean much at all (he’s tied for 10th in reliever fWAR since 2015), I’d rather call attention to the rather large discount he gave the Mets (3 years, 30 million is really cheap for a high quality reliever) and the fact he wanted to be a Met at all after being goaded by a fan base and traded mid-season.
He doesn’t just love New York.
He wants to win a championship? Every player says that. I’m sure that’s true, but why with the Mets, who still have a bit of work to do to be surefire contenders?
Its simple, really. He wants to be remembered by the Mets and their fanbase, not as the closer who couldn’t lock it down (no matter how much it wasn’t his fault), but as the dominant reliever we all saw in seasons past.
Ladies and gents, we have entered the Jeurys Familia redemption arc.