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REPORT: Phillies add Familia to their bullpen

The bullpen gets some help

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images

Now that the transaction freeze is over, the Phillies are able to conduct some business. After adding Jojo Romero to the 60-day injured list, opening up a roster spot, they have apparently filled that spot with an old rival.

Familia was once a feared reliever in the Mets’ bullpen, posting a sub 3 ERA in each season for New York from 2014-2016. He was their closer that time, tabulating 99 saves in those three seasons and accumulating 4.5 fWAR, a solid number for a relief pitcher.

Since those glory days, Familia has had a more difficult time staying consistent, racking up strikeouts per usual, but also seeing his walk rate climb with each subsequent outing. He’s also started to give up home runs much more often, a troubling trend for not just a reliever but also a reliever who is starting to get a little long in the tooth. Still, for a bullpen that needs as much help as it can get, there are worse signings to be made.

Of course we cannot mention Familia without mentioning his off the field incidents. He was arrested in 2017 on domestic violence charges only to see those charges dropped weeks later. However, Rob Manfred issued a 15 game suspension to Familia for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.

As it pertains to the team on the field, Familia certainly isn’t the flashiest signings, but if he can put up numbers similar to what he did last year (27.5 K%, 51.0 GB%), he’s be a solid enough middle innings reliever. The team can work to help him harness his control and be less homer prone, something we’ll have to see if they can do. It’s not the greatest opening salvo to the free agency madness, but there could be worse deals.