ATLANTA – For all but two and a half months of his ten-year Major League career, Jeurys Familia has been a Met. He arrived at the organization as a 17-year-old international signing in 2007. He rose through the ranks of the Minor League system as an announced prospect alongside Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. He spent half a season at Oakland before becoming a free agent for the first time in 2018, then immediately quit with the Mets on a three-year, $ 30 million contract.
Now that this contract is expiring, Familia is about to reach free agency for the second time. The longtime mainstay of the New York relievers box doesn’t know what the future holds except that he would like to continue his career at Flushing.
“New York is everything to me,” Familia said. “If I leave tomorrow and sign with another team, I will never forget New York. This is the team that gave me the opportunity to see my dream come [true]. I have so much love for everything in New York. It’s my house.
Although Familia struggled to replicate his early career success, which peaked with an ERA of 2.20 and 94 saves from 2015 to 2016, he managed to recover from a disastrous 2019 by producing an ERA. 3.81 over the next two seasons. This year, he’s increased his strikeout rate to a career-high 10.8 for nine innings, while reducing his walk rate from 6.4 to 4.2. Home runs have been a problem for Familia, who says he struggled with his slider control earlier this year. But he nevertheless proved to be durable and effective as an installation man for Edwin Díaz.
“For me, this is not the season that I was looking for, honestly,” Familia said. “But I feel good. Between last year and this year, I’m doing a better job.
A week before her 32nd birthday, Familia still casts her signature lead in the ’90s, which still draws teams to the free agent market. He keeps a house year round in northern New Jersey, which makes the Mets an attractive destination.
But Familia also understands that whatever her desires, her stay in New York could be coming to an end. When asked if he thought he could come back, Familia shrugged.
“I don’t know,” he said. ” Honestly, I do not know. “
Who is the first ?
If the designated hitter returns to the National League next year, Pete Alonso does not consider himself fit for the job.
“Not at all,” Alonso said. “I think I’m a very good first baseman with the potential to win a Golden Glove, and I think I would sell myself short to qualify for a [DH]. “
Alonso has improved his above average total of Outs every year since his debut with a -6 figure in 2019. The following year Alonso finished with -5 OAA. This year he is in the dark for the first time, with +1 OAA.
While Dominic Smith also remains in control of the squad and has always been a better defender at first base, Alonso’s stronger offensive record makes him a better candidate for the job in the seasons to come.
The fate of DH will be decided during collective agreement negotiations this winter.
“If I need DH maybe someday or if someone needs a spin, it’s okay,” Alonso said. “But I’m a first baseman. I don’t think I will ever consider myself a DH. And I think that by continuing to improve, I will be able to win not a single Golden Glove, I have the impression that I will win several in my career. And this is only my third year. I’ll just keep improving.
The firefighter’s return?
Although Mets reliever Seth Lugo has had reasonable success since returning from offseason surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow, his 3.50 ERA remains inflated from the 2.68 mark ‘he posted from 2018-19. Looking back, said Lugo, this operation kept him from feeling comfortable with his mechanics until the last few weeks.
Now that he’s back to normal, Lugo hopes continued success will allow him to return to his old role as a multi-innings “firefighter” next year. The right-hander has submitted just six relief outings out of more than four outings this season, up from 53 in 2018-19. Last summer, Lugo spent a lot of time working as a starting pitcher.
“I would like to get back to it,” he said. “I’ve been a beginner my whole life, and then the last few years, being in the pen, throwing multiple innings feels more natural to me.”
Noah Syndergaard will make his second and final start in a one-leg outing on Sunday to close the season, as he looks to enter the offseason – and potentially free agency – strong following Tommy John surgery March 2020.
The Mets have not announced who will follow Syndergaard to the mound. Robert Gsellman, who hasn’t pitched since tearing up the right lat in June, is a possibility in what could turn out to be a reliever game.
One fish, two fish, goldfish, blue fish
Alonso will open his offseason with a charitable effort, taking an auction winner on a two-day fishing trip to benefit the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. Profits will go to TRCP and Alonso’s foundation, Homers for Heroes.
“We’re going to try to go out there and catch some fish, have a good time in the offseason,” Alonso said, “and have a couple of fun days on the water.”
More details are available here.