A’s Reinforce Bullpen in Jeurys Familia Acquisition

The trade market continued moving on Saturday, as the A’s picked up reliever Jeurys Familia from the Mets in exchange for right-handed pitcher Bobby Wahl and third baseman William Toffey as well as $1,000,000 in international bonus money. The A’s will eat the remainder of the closer’s salary.

In Familia, the A’s will acquire a reliable rental closer who has posted a very strong 2.88 ERA over 40.2 innings pitched this season while recording 17 saves. While the A’s have a solid back-end of the bullpen, with all-star Blake Treinen and the above average Lou Trivino and Ryan Buchterthe middle relief corps have been less than stellar. Familia adds some additional depth that could help them make up some ground in the American League Wild Card race. Familia tops out at 99, and while his control isn’t perfect, his strikeout numbers are proportional. Another plus in his game is his stellar groundball rate. He will be a very solid addition for the A’s.

The Mets, on the other hand, received a very nice return on a rental asset. It has long been a topic of conversation that Bobby Wahl, who has pitched well enough to receive a call-up, has remained stuck in the Pacific Coast League, with a 2.27 ERA with strong peripherals including 2.52 FIP and an outstanding 14.75 K/9 with a proportional 3.86 BB/9. Fun fact, Wahl was my second round pick in my first ever draft simulation (behind Andrew Thurman). While he struggled a bit last season over a limited sample size, he looks like a reliable middle reliever with a set-up ceiling. A change of scenery may be an outstanding thing for the young reliever. At 26 years old, he should be ready to go for the Mets, and his fastball will be interesting.

As for Toffey, the 23-year old third baseman was a fourth round selection last season, and has struggled a bit thus far in his professional career. He’s a career .255/.368/.365 hitter with encouraging plate discipline, as he has posted walk rates of about 15% with very low strikeout rates. While his glove is very good, the hit tool isn’t great and he only has average power, which may not fly for a third baseman. While he’s a good line drive hitter, which could improve the average as he gains experience, at 23 years old, I don’t see his ceiling being much more than a glove first second division regular at third.

The @Athletics sent two prospects and international bonus pool money to the Mets for closer Jeurys Familia on Saturday.Click To Tweet

While we will need to see how the Mets’ spend the international bonus money before we judge the deal entirely, its something of an underwhelming return for them. While the Mets saved some money on the deal, for such a good reliever, I would have expected the Mets to get a bit more than they did. While I like this return more than I liked the Royals’ haul for Kelvin Herrerathe rental relief market has certainly been lackluster.

I like the move for Oakland, as it didn’t cost them much, but the A’s are certainly further back in the standings, behind a very strong pair of Wild Card teams in Seattle and New York. Familia will definitely add some much-needed back-end depth to the A’s bullpen and could be a good influence on some of the A’s young relievers including Trivino.

I don’t love or hate the move for either side. The A’s got a great reliever at an affordable cost, but I don’t know how realistic the postseason is for Oakland, while the Mets got something back for a rental, the return was certainly underwhelming. I’m interested to see how the Mets use both the international money and Wahl.

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