Students from Pace University Law School annually compete in a baseball arbitration competition at Tulane University in New Orleans. Their projections for the salaries of arbitration-eligible Mets players annually prove remarkably close to the actual salaries those players ultimately receive. The current Pace team provides their analyses this week for Metsblog. The squad includes Earl Menard, James Di Maggio, and Scott Koren, all from the Class of 2018. They are coached by Dan Masi, a 2014 Pace graduate and former winner of the Tulane competition. The projections are based on salaries received by other MLB players at the points in their careers when they had comparable service time to the current Mets.
Jeurys Familia endured a difficult season, partly of his own making. After an All-Star campaign in 2016, Familia opened this past season serving a suspension stemming from a domestic-abuse allegation. He then lost much of the season due to an arterial blood clot in his right shoulder. He only appeared in 26 games, amassing 24 2/3 IP, six saves, and a 4.38 ERA.
With his injury-plagued season and self-created troubles, Familia most likely will be compared salary-wise to Neftali Feliz (2014), Jake McGee (2015), and Arodys Vizcaino (2016) as he enters his third time through arbitration.
McGee had a similar, but better equivalent year when compared with Familia. McGee pitched in 39 games, for a total of 37 1/3 innings. He finished with a 2.41 ERA and 0.94 WHIP -- both better than Familia's 4.38 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Familia should see less than the raise McGee received, which was $1.25 million, due to Familia's weaker equivalent year.
Another similar player to Familia would be Feliz's 2014 season. Feliz pitched 31 2/3 innings and had 13 saves. Feliz's 1.99 ERA and 0.98 WHIP also were superior. Familia should receive less than the $1.125 million raise Feliz received.
The strongest comparison to Familia would be Vizcaino's 2016 season. Although it was Vizacino's second time through arbitration, not his third like Familia, the lack of cases of injured closers late in their arbitration years makes this a valid comparison.
Head here for arbitration projections for Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom
Vizcaino had the closer's job that season. But just like Familia, he lost most of the season due to an injury. Vizcaino only pitched 38 2/3 innings, with a 4.42 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, and 10 saves. Familia had both a lower ERA and WHIP in 2017, with only four fewer saves than Vizcaino. Due to Familia's better year, he most likely will see a raise slightly higher than the $652,500 Vizcaino received.
Familia's career numbers place him as one of the top closers in MLB, but his recent surgery and the subpar season he endured in 2017 severely limits his raise.
Familia should receive an $800,000 raise, which makes his overall salary would be $8.225 million in 2018.
Adam Rubin (Facebook | Twitter | Contact) has covered the Mets since 2002. He previously worked for the Daily News and ESPN. He also serves as assistant athletic director for strategic communications at NYIT. He is a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the University of Pennsylvania.