Mets Exchanging Names with Teams on Jeurys Familia Trade (UPDATE: A’s?)

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Mets Exchanging Names with Teams on Jeurys Familia Trade (UPDATE: A’s?)

Chicago Cubs

There was never really a question – well, as of a month ago or so – that the Mets would be sellers this year. But the questions remain on when they’ll start, and how deeply they’ll sell.

The answer on that first one is coming into view, at least:

Familia, 28, has been very good this year, sporting a 2.88 ERA, a 25.2% K rate, and an 8.2% BB rate, and he’s making $7.9 million in this, his final year before free agency. That there are a number of teams interested in a rental deal here is not a surprise, and he’d probably net the Mets a pretty solid (though not elite) prospect.

There are some rubs, though. For one thing, Familia really struggled in 2017, and before that, had only a two-year track record of high-end success. For another thing, Familia’s patented extreme groundball tendencies have eroded a bit this year (50.0% groundball rate after historically always being around 60%). And for still another thing, Familia was suspended for 15 games under MLB’s Domestic Violence Policy last year after a scary incident in late 2016.

Obviously there is precedent for the Cubs acquiring a high-end reliever who’d recently been suspended under the domestic violence policy (Aroldis Chapman), but that aspect of the trade – and Chapman’s explanation/apology/etc. – was never fully accepted by all Cubs fans. Going forward, you hate to think about the Cubs deciding to balance fan acceptance of a player who has been suspended under the policy against the amount that player can impact the team. We – the fan base, I mean – did this dance once before, and while I appreciated Chapman’s baseball contributions, I really don’t want fans to have to work through that stuff again in the same kind of manner. The relief rental market is robust this year.

The Cubs have not, to date, been publicly connected to Familia in rumors, so we’ll have to keep tabs (wherever he goes, it could impact the Cubs). And, more broadly, I’m curious to see how deeply the Mets sell, as they are not *clearly* a team that *can’t* be competitive next year, but they are also not *clearly* set up well for a nice long contention window after this season.

UPDATE: Although a later report tied the Cubs to Familia, sounds like it isn’t them:

UPDATE 2: It’s the A’s:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.