In a 2019 season that really does feel go big or go home, the Dodgers should sign Jeurys Familia. Familia is the backup to Kenley Jansen that Los Angeles is looking for and he will be the best setup man in baseball outside of Andrew Miller.
Familia had been a Met for life. From signing his first contract until 2018, he is a purebred product of New York and its farm teams. But, when the world came crumbling down in elegant fashion for the Mets in 2018, Familia was one of the first players to go and he landed in Oakland.
Now typically, this story is irrelevant- a good player on a bad team getting moved to a good team is like clockwork in baseball. The significance is with the move, Familia was traded to a new team to take on a new role. In Oakland, the 29-year old right-handed former closer went from the final boss to a set up man.
Oakland had 2018’s best reliever. I don’t care who won the AL Reliever of the Year because Blake Treinen was a godsend last season. In 80.1 innings, Treinen gave up seven, yes, seven earned runs, good for a .78 ERA and a 531 ERA+. So, with Oakland being to count the blemishes on Treinen’s season with one and a half hands, they did not need a closer.
Copy and paste the idea to this Dodgers team. They have their closer. Unless Kenley Jansen gets hurt there is no need whatsoever to even think about another closing pitcher for this roster. Jansen has dominated hitters for his entire career. Even in a 2018 season that saw his numbers take a serious hit, the 30-year old righty posted a 129 ERA+. That 129, 29 points above league average, was his career low.
So, the Dodgers should do with Familia what the A’s did with him. Buy him for his numbers and put them in the eighth inning.
More from LA Dodgers News
- Kevin Kiermaier being ‘top target’ to replace Cody Bellinger is bad sign for Dodgers
- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers
- Former Astro seemingly takes uncalled for shot at Cody Bellinger after Cubs deal
- Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be
In his career, Familia has been a workhorse for his team. With the exception of 2017, a year in which he had a season-ending shoulder injury, Familia has pitched over 70 innings in all of 2014, ’15, ’16 and ’18. In those years his highest ERA was this year’s mark of 3.13 and his lowest ERA+ was also this past season at 125.
Adding Familia would not only add some sure-fire stability to the pen but it would solve another issue: Dave Roberts will no longer have to play situation matcher in the eighth inning. Familia will be the go-to. Just as Dave Roberts does not think about who pitches in a >3 run ball game, Familia will be the same decision.
That would allow Roberts to move Pedro Baez and Dylan Floro into more fluid, non-late inning roles where they can work to put out fires caused by starters or other relievers.
At 29-years old, Familia’s track record and relatively young age could set him up for a nice payday which the Dodgers would have to be ok with doing. All things considered, Familia should get a roughly four-year deal worth about $44 million. A higher number but one well worth the cost.
Oakland had the best bullpen in baseball last season and Jeurys Familia was a big reason why. He was dominant and reliable. The Dodgers could use some of that star power in the bullpen and this year, a year where the team needs to win it all, having Familia in the pen could go a long way. The Dodgers should replicate Oakland’s success and Jeurys Familia is a direct bridge to doing that.