Released Phillies reliever Jeurys Familia finds new home with Red Sox

Jeurys Familia #31 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Jeurys Familia #31 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Former Phillies reliever Jeurys Familia has signed a minors deal with the Red Sox.

The Philadelphia Phillies have had their fair share of poor relievers in recent seasons. Among the worst-performing were Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree — acquired from the Boston Red Sox for fellow right-handers Nick Pivetta and prospect Connor Seabold in August 2020.

Workman and Hembree finished the pandemic-shortened season with 6.92 and 12.54 respective ERAs in red pinstripes. Neither pitched at the big-league level for them again.,

With the “what comes around goes around” saying in mind, perhaps the Phillies indirectly have returned the favor to the American League East club.

According to minor-league baseball scribe Joe McDonald, the Red Sox signed former veteran Phillies reliever Jeurys Familia to a minor-league deal on Tuesday. The 11-year veteran and 2016 National League All-Star will report to Triple-A Worcester.

Before being designated for assignment last week to make room for acquired Chicago Cubs reliever David Robertson — and going through waivers unclaimed — the 32-year-old Familia went 1-1 with a 6.09 ERA, 1.853 WHIP ratio, and 33-15 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 38 appearances and 34 innings this season.

Familia blew both of his save opportunities in a Phillies uniform. He recorded 124 saves in parts of 10 seasons as a member of the division-rival New York Mets (2012-18, 2019-21). Notably, Familia recorded a combined 94 saves across the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

When the Phillies signed Familia to a one-year deal in mid-March, they hoped to re-capture some of those prime seasons — but ultimately that never came to fruition.

Entering Tuesday’s action, the Red Sox sat in last place in the American League East despite only being two games under .500. They trailed the division-leading New York Yankees by 17 games. Boston’s Wild Card chances are much favorable, having trailed the third-place Seattle Mariners by just 4 1/2 games (although a few other teams are between them in the hunt).

Who knows, if the Red Sox can turn their season around, maybe Familia will pitch in the postseason after all — just not in red pinstripes.

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