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A’s sign Jeurys Familia (UPDATED)

Bullpen adding a familiar face

Syndication: NorthJersey Danielle Parhizkaran/

The Oakland Athletics are signing free agent reliever Jeurys Familia to a one-year deal, bringing back an old friend and adding depth to the bullpen just five days away from Opening Day.

This’ll be Familia’s second stint with the A’s. Oakland originally traded for the right-handed closer from the Mets way back in the summer of 2018, and he slid right into a setup role for Oakland’s then-closer Blake Treinan for the rest of the season. He pitched well for the Green & Gold that year, throwing to a 3.45 ERA with 40 strikeouts in just 31 13 innings.

The former All-Star hasn’t had much success since then, however. He quickly went right back to the Mets that off-season, signing a three-year deal with New York. He finished out that contract with New York then signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in March of 2022. He held onto a roster spot up until August, when he was released after putting up a 6.09 ERA over 38 games. He signed on with the Boston Red Sox for the rest of the season and it was more of the same as he put up a 6.10 ERA in just 10 appearances for them.

Familia had been with Arizona this spring but was released earlier today. He’s had a good spring so far, pitching 6 23 innings with 6 K’s, allowing just one home run over that stretch. Evidently that wasn’t enough to get him into their bullpen to start the year.

The signing gives Oakland another experienced arm available to them for the coming season. Based on the fact that it’s a major-league deal it seems he’s all but guaranteed a spot on the roster for Opening Day. He’ll likely take the spot of either Drew Steckenrider or Chad Smith, unless there is an injury that hasn’t been reported yet. Steckenrider has been hit hard this spring but also has more MLB experience, including closing games for the Seattle Mariners in 2021. If Familia pitches well for the A’s in the first half he’ll give the organization another trade chip come summer. Anything helps, right?

Welcome back, Jeurys!

UPDATE - The A’s have officially announced the signing. To make room on the 40-man roster, Oakland placed left-hander Kirby Snead on the 60-day injured list.