Diamondbacks sign Jeurys Familia to Minor League deal

17:22: Familia will make $1.5MM if he makes the majors with $500K in performance bonuses also available, per Joel Sherman of The New York Post.

16:55: The Diamondbacks have signed the right-hander Jeury’s Familia to a minor league deal, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The ACES client will receive an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

Familia, 33, has had many good years in the big leagues, but is coming off a terrible campaign in 2022. From 2014 to 2021, he made 482 appearances, mostly with the Mets, with a 3.20 ERA in that time. His 10.5% walk rate was a little on the high side, but he struck out 25.2% of the batters faced in that time and got grounders on 55.5% of balls in play.

Last year, however, was a completely different story. He signed a $6MM deal with the Phillies and played 38 games for them, but posted a 6.09 ERA during that time while his strikeout rate dropped to 20.9%. He was released in August and stayed with the Red Sox for a while, but posted a 6.10 ERA in 10 appearances for them. A .386 batting average on balls in play might have made things look worse than they really were, but it’s not like everything can be chalked up to bad luck. Familia’s Statcast page is an icy blue as he was in the third percentile in hard hit rate, fourth percentile for average exit velocity and eighth percentile in barrel velocity.

The Diamondbacks had a rough showing from their bullpen last year. Their relievers posted a combined 4.58 ERA for the year, a mark that beat only five other teams in the majors. They have taken a few steps to address the relief corps for the upcoming season, including signings michael castro and Scott McGoughgrabs Cole Sulser off waivers and trade for Carlos Vargas. By signing Familia, they’ve essentially taken a risk-free flier on a veteran with a long track record of success. He will give them some extra depth without taking up a roster spot for now.

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