In the Jeurys Familia trade with the Oakland Athletics, the New York Mets got back third baseman Will Toffey and reliever Bobby Wahl.
The New York Mets made the first of what should be a couple of trades as they dealt their closer, Jeurys Familia, to the Oakland Athletics. In return, they received international bonus pool money along with third baseman Will Toffey and reliever Bobby Wahl.
We’ve acquired minor league infielder William Toffey, RHP Bobby Wahl and international bonus pool money from Oakland in exchange for RHP Jeurys Familia. #Mets
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 21, 2018
For a two-month rental, this is not a bad return that the New York Mets got back. They needed to improve their organizational depth at third base and Toffey could help in that regard. As for Wall, he has had a good season at Triple-A Nashville as their closer and could potentially be a pitcher that sees some Major League time this season as New York searches for someone to save games along with Robert Gsellman.
First, let’s take a look at Toffey. Toffey was a high draft pick of the Oakland Athletics in 2017 when they took him in the fourth round out of Vanderbilt University. According to MLB Pipeline, he was the 17th best prospect in the A’s organization (now 20th with the Mets) and here’s what they had to say about him:
“Toffey controls the strike zone very well and shows power potential in his left-handed swing. He improved his walk and strikeout rates each year at Vandy and hit for more power than ever in 2017. While he didn’t show that same power during his pro debut in the New York-Penn League, Toffey still amassed 14 extra-base hits and scored 38 runs while walking at a 15-percent clip. Though he’s a fringy runner, Toffey provides quality defense and solid arm strength at third baseman.”
In 48 games with the High-A Stockton Ports out in the California League, the 23-year-old left-handed hitter had a slash line of .244/.357/.384 with five home runs and 32 RBIs. It has been a rough season for Toffey in terms of injuries. He went on the disabled list back in April due to a dislocated shoulder.
While Toffey has not had great power numbers professionally, he has shown a good ability to get on base by drawing walks. This year, he has 29 walks, which was the fourth most walks of any player on the Ports. In an interview with Bill Moriarity of A’s Farm, Toffey’s manager, Rick Magnante talked about his eye at the plate:
“He definitely has a feel to hit and is able to be selective enough to not chase too much and swing outside of the zone, and that’s probably allowed his on-base percentage to be a legitimate number.”
The Mets decided to move up Toffey to Double-A Binghamton (according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com). Since the Mets are looking for a third baseman of the future, Toffey has the opportunity to make a good first impression. Now, he will get the opportunity to shine in the Eastern League.
As for Wahl, he was having a good season with the Nashville Sounds. In 34 appearances, he went 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA, had 11 saves in 12 chances, an opponents’ batting average against of .130 and 65 strikeouts to 17 walks in 39.2 innings.
In fact, the 26-year-old right-hander had 14 strikeouts to two walks. Saves are not the end-all, be-all in evaluating relievers at the minor league level. With that being said, he was one of eight pitchers in the Pacific Coast League to have ten or more saves.
Wahl had the chance to make his Major League debut in 2017 with the A’s. In the seven games that he pitched in 2017, his average velocity on his fastball was at 95 miles-per-hour to go with a slider, curveball, and changeup (FanGraphs).
Unfortunately, Wahl’s season was cut short a year ago because he had to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. This came two years after he had surgery for a forearm injury. In an interview done with Bill Craig of A’s Farm, Wahl talked about what things he was working on in Nashville:
“Yes, you can always refine things and get better at something. That’s the mindset I take every day. Maybe I want to work a little bit more on my curveball or where my release point is on my breaking ball and stuff like that. There’s always room for improvement and utilizing the people here.”
Another positive with Wahl is that he has only allowed two home runs this season, which is a very low number for a reliever in a hitter-friendly league. While he might pitch in Las Vegas to start, don’t be surprised if he gets another shot in the big leagues at some point. He had six strikeouts and gave up a run on two hits against Las Vegas in two outings last year.
You can argue that the Mets should’ve got more back for Familia, but the A’s took on all of Familia’s salary (according to Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic). This likely hurt the Mets’ chances at securing a better package.
Source: #Athletics taking all of Familia’s remaining salary, which is slightly more than $3M.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 21, 2018
Earlier this afternoon, one of the Mets general managers, John Ricco, gave his thoughts on the deal. Here is his quote courtesy of Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record:
“This trade hits 3 major areas. We got a major league ready reliever our scouts recommended, a position player who was a high selection from the 2017 draft and strong prospect in the A’s system as well as receiving international bonus pool money to help in the future.”
With that being said, the Mets did address organizational depth positions with this deal. Now, it is time to see who else they trade away between now and July 31 to help improve the farm system.