After rumblings began last night from a variety of sources, today the Mets traded Jeurys Familia to the Athletics. In return, the Mets are getting Bobby Wahl, William Toffey, and international slot money. Joel Sherman, among others, is reporting the deal is complete. The A’s will pick up the remainder of Familia’s salary, and are reportedly sending $1 million in slot money.
Toffey is the better prospect in the deal. A fourth round pick in 2017, Toffey is a left-hand hitting third baseman who was excellent early in the season at Advanced-A before suffering a wrist injury, after which he hasn’t been the same. Fangraphs had them 7th on their recently updated Top 10 A’s prospect list.
Wahl is a 26-year-old, right-handed reliever with a 14.75 K/9 in Triple-A this season. He’s similar to many of the relievers the Mets got in last year’s deadline deals, featuring a big fastball, late inning upside, but questionable secondaries and control.
Familia signed with the Mets in 2007 as an international free agent, and made his big-leagues debut with the club in 2012. He became the team’s regular closer in the 2015 season. Over his first two seasons as closer, Familia was one of the best closers in baseball, saving 94 games, striking out 9.9 and 9.7 batters per game, respectively. Familia finished with a 207 ERA+ in 2015 with a 1.85 ERA and a 2.74 FIP. In 2016, Familia was named to the All-Star team and finished 17th in MVP voting.
For many Mets fans, unfortunately, Familia will be associated with the 2015 World Series, where he was credited for three blown saves, despite two of the three not being his fault. This added to Familia’s reputation as an unreliable relief pitcher, which has tagged him for most of his career, even though a more nuanced analysis puts that reputation in question.
In October of 2016, Familia was arrested for a domestic violence dispute involving the mother of his child, which led to him missing the first 15 games of the 2017 season. Less than a month after being reinstated, Familia was diagnosed with an arterial clot in his right shoulder, which required surgery to remove the blockage. He re-joined the team in late August, and was not pitching to his usual standards for the remainder of the season.
This season, Familia has been pitching to or near his career norms, striking out 43 in 40.2 innings, and keeping his walk rate down. Familia did blow four saves in the first two months of the season, but has been much better as of late, not allowing a run since June 27th.