Jeurys Familia could be the Mets’ new closer

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Jeurys Familia pitched an unheralded 1 2/3 innings of effective relief for the Mets as they came from behind to beat the Phillies 5-4 on Sunday afternoon, avoiding a sweep. Familia, 24, has quietly been one of the Mets’ most reliable relievers this season and big things may be in store for him.

Via ESPN’s Adam Rubin, manager Terry Collins says Familia is moving closer to becoming the team’s closer. Familia lowered his ERA to 3.12 with Sunday’s effort and now has 14 strikeouts and six unintentional walks in 17 1/3 innings on the season.

Since losing Bobby Parnell to Tommy John surgery, the Mets have used a hodgepodge of relievers to close out games. Four different relievers — Kyle Farnsworth (2), Jose Valverde (2), Carlos Torres (1), and Daisuke Matsuzaka (1) — have recorded saves for the club. They would love to have some stability at the back end of their bullpen.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.