Mets Trade Jeurys Familia To The A's For Two Prospects, Bonus Cash
Buried at the bottom of the NL East with the second-worst record in the National League, the Mets traded away one of the best trade chips on Saturday, sending closer Jeurys Familia to the Athletics in a deal that brings back two prospects and $1 million in international slot allotment (the allotment amount was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser).
The Mets opted to not pay for any of Familia’s remaining salary, which limited the return in prospects they would receive. For the A’s, who sit four games behind Seattle for the final wild card spot in the American League, Familia’s acquisition gives them a chance to deploy a pair of outstanding relievers in the late innings as Familia will join Blake Treinen at the back of the bullpen.
Jeurys Familia, RHP
After an excellent rookie season as a setup man in 2014, Famila has capably filled the Mets closer role the past four seasons. His combination of a plus-plus fastball with excellent sink and average control make him a relatively durable and reliable reliever who immediately provides a significant boost to an A’s bullpen that is already effective and deep thanks to Treinen, Yusmeiro Petit and Lou Trivino.
Familia is playing on a one-year, $7.9 million deal. He is a free agent after the season. According to multiple reports, the A’s will pay the remainder of Familia’s salary this year. The A’s also sent $1 million in international slot money allotment to the Mets in the deal.
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Bobby Wahl, RHP
If Wahl can stay healthy, he is the kind of power reliever who can eventually step into a setup role with the Mets with an outside shot of even being a closer. But staying healthy has been one of Wahl’s biggest issues and explains why Wahl has yet to settle into a big league role even though he’s just two years younger than Familia.
Blister problems ruined his draft year at Ole Miss. An oblique injury slowed him down in 2013 in his first full pro season. A nerve impingement required elbow surgery in 2015 and a shoulder injury limited him to 22.2 innings in 2017. He’s never thrown 60 innings in a pro season. In comparison, Familia is on pace to top 75 innings for the fourth time in the past five years.
But when Wahl is healthy, he has a 94-99 mph fastball that has touched 100 mph in the past and he can locate his average curveball and fringe-average changeup well enough to get ahead in counts against hitters gearing up for his fastball.
Wahl has battled control problems throughout his minor league career, but he’s also missed plenty of bats wherever he’s pitched. He’s also been pitching the best he’s ever pitched in the past month. Since June 21, Wahl has throw 10.1 innings. He’s allowed one hit, a solo home run that is also the only run he’s allowed. He’s struck out 19 over that stretch while walking only two.
Will Toffey, 3B
Toffey was the A’s fourth-round pick in 2017 out of Vanderbilt. He is an above-average defender at third base with a plus arm and he could be a .270-.280 hitter with an ability to get on base as well because he knows how to control the strike zone. But scouts have long been skeptical about how much power he’ll hit for. He hit for four home runs in his first two years at Vanderbilt, although he did hit 12 with a .602 slugging percentage as a junior.
As a pro, Toffey so far has not answered those scouts concerns. He has only six home runs and a .110 isolated power in 373 pro at-bats. He’s hitting .244/.357/.384 this year at high Class A Stockton. Toffey’s extremely high walk rates (15 percent of plate appearances in each of his two pro seasons) can produce solid on-base percentages even if he ends up hitting .250-.260, but in the modern game, that isn’t all that useful if it doesn’t come with at least average power. So far scouts aren’t convinced he can hit for average power.