The New York Mets began making moves towards their inevitable rebuild a bit early. They traded Jeurys Familia to the Oakland Athletics for third base prospect Will Toffey, RHP Bobby Wahl and $1 million towards the international free agency pool.
The Mets stirred the pot a bit with the trade. Familia was one of the more coveted relievers on the market, but with free agency looming, he is but a mere rental for a team. Some feel the Mets dealt too low and it is hard to argue with that assessment. The trade deadline is still more than a week away, and it seems that the Mets pulled the trigger rather quickly without fielding other offers.
For the As, it’s a win of a trade. Bobby Wahl’s prospect tag is fading more towards rookie status and Will Toffey was ranked anywhere between No. 15 and No. 20 in the Athletics’ system depending on your trusted source. Per Jane Lee of MLB.com, the A’s are 38-0 when leading after seven innings and a ridiculous 46-0 after eight. This Lou Trivino, Familia, Blake Treinen will certainly improve that record.
(video via FanGraphs on YouTube)
Wahl is the 26-year-old reliever that Oakland drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Mississippi. He’s been solid in Nashville this season, converting 11-of-12 save opportunities while limiting opposing hitters to a .130 batting average and a 0.86 WHIP in a hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He made his MLB debut this season to lesser results, but 7.2 IP is hardly enough to pass decision. If he’s the big strikeout, run-limiting pitcher he’s proven to be in the minors, the Mets did get a nice bullpen fixture.
That leaves Toffey as the real prospect in the deal.
Will Toffey, 3B
The skinny: Toffey is a Vanderbilt product, and a member of the prospect-laden 2015 national runner-up team. He was drafted three times, the final time by the A’s in the fourth round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Now 23-years-old, he is listed at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds and bats lefty while throwing righty.
(video via the 2080 YouTube page)
17) Will Toffey, 3B, Grade C+: Age 22, fourth round pick in 2017 from Vanderbilt, hit .263/.377/.349 with 38 walks, 45 strikeouts in 209 at-bats in NY-P; very polished, with excellent strike zone judgment in left-side bat; very solid glove at third base; main question is power development, should hit doubles but unclear how many homers will come at higher levels. ETA 2020.
The player: Toffey was known for his plate discipline and the ability to not only draw walks, but show patience in at bats to wait for his hittable pitch. That showed in Vermont in his half-season debut where he walked 38 times and struck out 45 in 209 NYPL at bats. He didn’t show much of the average or any of the power expected from him, but it was a transitional season, playing longer than he normally had.
This season in the California League has not necessarily been a disappointment, but not the step forward many had hoped. He missed more than a month early on the season, and hasn’t shown the power needed from a third baseman, especially in a California League that many find their power stroke. His midseason splits are .244/.357/.384 with a .741 OPS with only eight doubles and five home runs in 164 at bats.
Defense seems to be a solid attribute as he has a big arm and decent enough range to stick at the position. It will likely be his offense that factors in to where he plays. Should his hitting catch up to what was expected of him, a .290-.300 hitter with those keen on-base skills, plus 15-20 homer pop, Coffey is a nice prospect.
The verdict: It sure does seem like the Mets undersold, but time will tell. They certainly got two nice pieces back, but as we’ve seen over the past three seasons, relievers are a hot commodity at the deadline, and it seemed like the Mets could have grabbed more. But I’ll let you decide the ultimate winner or loser of this deal.