Jeurys Familia

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Jeurys Familia Had Mind Set On Returning 'Home' To Mets

December 17, 2018 - 3:44 pm
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NEW YORK (WFAN) -- The Mets essentially loaned Jeurys Familia to the Oakland Athletics for the end of the 2018 season.

Familia began the campaign in New York's bullpen, but he was traded to the Bay Area on July 21 for Will Toffey and Bobby Wahl. The Dominican right-hander was solid for the A's despite not pitching as well as he had been for the Mets. 

The Athletics lost in the wild card game to the Yankees and Familia apparently decided after the season that he liked the Big Apple more than Oakland. The 29-year-old re-signed with the Mets on Friday and spoke on Monday to the press about just how much he wanted to come back to his old team.

"I am so excited, there are not a lot of words to describe how I feel to be back home," Familia said Monday on a conference call. "Let's go Mets."

Familia recorded a 3.13 ERA and went 8-6 in 70 total relief appearances last season. He had spent his entire career with the Mets before his mid-season move to the Athletics. Familia has family in New Jersey and knew that he wanted to return to Queens. 

"It means a lot for me, it where I grew up, it's like a home for me," Familia said. "That's why I am here today. It doesn't matter what inning I am going to pitch. I come back here to win and get a championship."

The Mets' reinforced bullpen now has another dominant closer in its arsenal. Edwin Diaz was acquired from the Seattle Mariners on December 3. Mets' manager Mickey Callaway said at the winter meetings that Diaz would be the team's closer, so it's likely that Familia will slot into that set-up man role in the eighth inning. The Puerto Rican reliever is coming off an impressive season that earned him the American League's Reliever of the Year award. 

"I've been a closer for a couple years," said Familia. "At the same time come back to the Mets, I told my agent any possibility I wanted to do that."