Familia Deal Reeks of Salary Relief, Not Retooling For Future

Yesterday, as everyone already knows, the Mets traded Jeurys Familia and the entirety of his remaining salary to the Oakland Athletics for 3B William Toffey, reliever Bobby Wahl, and $1 million in international bonus pool money.

Toffey, 23, is a second-year minor league third baseman who was taken in the fourth round of the MLB Draft out of Vanderbilt in 2017. This season, the third baseman is hitting .244/.357/.384 with five home runs and 32 RBI in high-A, but will start his Mets career in Double-A Binghamton. For more on him, check out John Sheridan’s prospect report on him. MLB Pipeline ranks him 17th on the Oakland A’s prospect list.

Wahl, 26, has some major league experience and debuted with the A’s in 2017 while appearing in seven games for them that year, registering a 4.70 ERA. He was originally drafted by Oakland in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.

This year at Triple-A, Wahl has logged a 2.27 ERA in 34 games pitched. He is not currently ranked in Oakland’s top-30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline.

The right-hander has also gotten Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, though, despite having shown no effects of it this season with a 98-99 MPH fastball and 65 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched this season.

Okay, so what should we make of this trade?

Well, let’s first start off by saying that regardless of the public perception of a deal, every deal is going to be better or worse than it is perceived with prospects. Some breakout and become major contributors, while others falter and possibly never reach the MLB level.

That being said, as Keith Law of ESPN details, this deal had a very weak return, and seems to believe that the owners are the ones that have allowed for the Mets to receive these “fringe prospects.”

He even goes on to say that with the way this team operates in essentially giving away talented players like Familia, that the Wilpon’s should be forced to sell the team or spend, like the league did with Frank McCourt and the Los Angeles Dodgers. To be clear, they ended up having to sell the team at the end of the day.

A report that could be even more damning to the Mets’ perception comes from Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic who spoke to a couple of executives following the deal who were dumbfounded by the deal.

One of them came from a team in the bidding who apparently gave off the vibe he was annoyed that Familia was dealt ten days before the deadline for this measly package. However, he did note this as a possibility to the deal.

“The international money must have been real important to them.”

Craig Mish of Sirius XM believes this deal might be about trying to land Victor Victor Mesa, who is said to be the best international prospect since Yoan Moncada.

However, the second executive said that he heard that the Mets’ front office was under the belief that the return would not improve with waiting until the last second.

That’s a lot of information to digest, now let’s evaluate all of this.

First off, this deal likely looks a lot better if the team land Mesa, who would be the equivalent of adding a top-30 prospect in the game if they were to somehow land him.

However, looking at this deal right now, this looks terrible, quite frankly, and wreaks of an organization that is shopping at the dollar store still.

The Mets had ten days left to get a deal done and instead jumped at an offer to get rid of his salary while getting very minimal in return. While the offers might not have improved, they likely could not have gotten too much worse.

Also, remember how John Ricco said only a few days ago that the team would spend money to get a better return in prospects. Where was that yesterday?

They did this last year too when they traded Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda, and Neil Walker while not pitching in much salary relief at all and probably passing on better talent in the process.

Many even reported that the New York Yankees tried to get Walker and Bruce, with prospects being their preferred method of payment, as long as the Mets pitched in cash. Instead, the team turned around and dealt them to the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians, respectively.

This deal just speaks to the ineptitude of the front office at this point, and it starts at the very top with the name that has given Mets fans gripes for years.

About Josh Finkelstein 410 Articles
I am a junior at SUNY Cortland majoring in Sport Management. I have been a big Mets fan since 2007 and David Wright has and always will be my favorite player. Follow me on Twitter @JoshFinkMets