Athletics

Athletics

(Over the next week, we will be examining each of the A's free agents to determine which players are most likely to return in 2019.)

The A's made a big, and somewhat surprising splash on July 21 when they acquired former All-Star closer Jeurys Familia from the New York Mets. Familia served as the primary setup man for Blake Treinen, finding success early in his A's tenure, but struggling down the stretch.

Overall, Familia went 4-2 with one save and a 3.45 ERA in 30 appearances with Oakland. He did not allow an earned run in his first 10 innings with the A's, but finished with a 4.15 ERA in August and 4.76 ERA in September.

Familia, who turned 29 today, earned just under $8 million for the season.

Why the A's should re-sign him

Familia was a major part of the bullpen's success. He has dominant stuff and has shown the ability to be an All-Star closer at the Major League level. He was also more than willing to serve as a setup man in the A's pen, pitching in all different types of situations.

Familia was also a good fit in the A's clubhouse. Oakland manager Bob Melvin has said it felt like Familia had been with the A's all season based on the way he got along with his teammates.

Why the A's should let him go

Familia will probably command a higher salary than the A's are willing to pay a setup man. Oakland already has an All-Star closer in Treinen, and with young setup men like Lou Trivino and J.B. Wendelken, they don't have a desperate need for Familia.

 

The right-hander also struggled with his command at times down the stretch, issuing 12 walks in 24 1/3 innings between August and September. By the end of the season, Melvin couldn't be sure what to expect from Familia in any given outing.

Verdict

It would be quite surprising to see Familia back in an A's uniform next season. With Treinen, Trivino, and Wendelken all returning, Oakland will not want to spend a ton of money on another setup man.

Familia should draw major interest from other teams, specifically those that need a closer. Between 2015 and 2016, Familia notched 94 saves with the Mets, and he has a career ERA of 2.73. The A's probably knew when they acquired Familia that he was just a rental.