Twenty hours of uncertainty for Jeurys Familia and the Mets ended Saturday afternoon with the finalization of a trade that sent him to the Oakland Athletics.
In exchange for Familia, a one-time All-Star closer who is scheduled to be a free agent after this season, the Mets received two minor leaguers: 23-year-old third baseman Will Toffey and 26-year-old reliever Bobby Wahl.
The A’s also gave the Mets $1 million in international slot money, which isn’t actual cash, but instead the ability to spend that money signing international amateurs. The Mets started with a signing pool of $4.9835 million, and the A’s amount adds to that.
In a statement, assistant general manager John Ricco said, “This trade hits three major areas.” But it was actually four. The Mets shed about $3 million in salary, with Oakland reportedly picking up the rest of what Familia is owed this season.
That follows the same pattern the Mets developed last summer in trading off veterans, even though Ricco said Friday the Mets were willing to eat money for a better prospect return — under the right circumstances.
No Mets executives were available to discuss the trade Saturday.
The completion of the deal marked the end of Familia’s 11-year Mets career — capped by a strange couple of days. Manager Mickey Callaway found out midway through the Mets’ win Friday that he couldn’t use the righthander because of a potential trade. After the game, a somber Familia, unsure where he was headed, said between hugs from Mets, “I love this team and I love my teammates.”
“Just waiting right now for my agent to call me and see what happens,” Familia said. “It’s tough. Just waiting right now, what’s going to happen.”
Saturday morning, Familia remained in limbo. His locker was the only one without a gray road Mets jersey hanging in it. He wasn’t available to pitch, leaving the Mets without arguably their top three relievers: Familia, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. The latter two pitched a combined four innings in Familia’s absence Friday night.
By the time the Mets lost to the Yankees, 7-6, on Saturday, the trade was official and Familia’s locker at Yankee Stadium was emptied.
“The A’s are lucky to have a quality guy and a quality pitcher like Familia,” Callaway said. “He’s done a great job for this organization. I know the fans, I know the coaching staff and the players are going to miss him. But understand it’s also necessary at this point to try to strengthen our team in the future, and it sounds like we did a pretty good job of that.”
Familia finished his Mets career with a 2.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 123 saves across seven seasons. An international signee at age 17 in July 2007, Familia holds the franchise single-season record for saves, 51 in 2016.
Toffey was ranked as Oakland’s No. 17 prospect by MLB Pipeline. A fourth-round pick out of Vanderbilt last year, Toffey hit .244 with a .357 OBP and .384 slugging percentage in High A in his first full pro season. In a statement, special assistant to the GM J.P. Ricciardi said Toffey has “great strike-zone discipline [and] gap-to-gap power and is a solid defender.”
The Mets are sending Toffey to Double-A Binghamton.
Wahl throws hard and has had a good season in Triple A — 2.27 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 65 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings — but has a lengthy injury history, including thoracic-outlet surgery last season. He was not ranked by MLB Pipeline among Oakland’s top 30 prospects. In seven major-league games last season, Wahl had a 4.70 ERA and 1.57 WHIP.
Wahl will start his Mets career with Triple-A Las Vegas.