In a trade that has been widely expected since last night, the Athletics have officially acquired right-hander Jeurys Familia from the Mets. In exchange, the Athletics have sent a pair of minor leaguers back to New York: third baseman William Toffey and right-hander Bobby Wahl. The Mets will also receive $1MM in international bonus money, while the Athletics will take on all of Familia’s ~$3MM remaining salary.
With Familia set to reach free agency at season’s end, and the Mets suffering through a miserable 40-55 season thus far on the year, the closer’s ticket out of Queens has been all but purchased for weeks. Familia earned the number two spot on our Top 75 Trade Candidates At The All-Star Break list owing in part to the above factors as well as his excellent start to the 2018 season. Thus far, Familia’s managed an excellent 2.88 ERA and 17 saves to go along with 9.52 K/9 and a 50.5% ground ball rate.
Familia’s excellence goes beyond the common surface stats, too. His peripherals have earned him a 2.54 FIP, for one. He’s also been excellent at limiting homers, with a minuscule 2.8% homer-to-fly-ball rate on the season. An even deeper dive reveals that Familia has allowed hard contact at just a 26.8% clip during a season in which hard contact is up on the whole, and he’s also managed to induce swinging strikes on 12% of his pitches. According to Statcast, the batted ball profile of hitters against Familia gives him an xwOBA of just .289, which is only a few points above his actual wOBA (.273).
The excellent figures above are a well-timed bounce back from a miserable 2017 season for Familia that began with a 15-game domestic violence suspension and got even worse when it was revealed that the righty had an arterial clot in his right shoulder that would ultimately require surgery to repair. By the time he was finally able to return on August 26th, he looked nothing like himself, posting a 4.70 ERA while walking 4.11 batters per nine and not even notching a strikeout per inning. His 2018 comeback not only allowed the team who signed and developed him to capitalize on his success and reap a prospect return, but it also earned Familia a trade to a contending team, and the promise of pitching in meaningful games by which he can boost his free agent pay day.
Jane Lee of MLB.com was the first to report that two sides had come to an agreement involving two prospects and international bonus pool money. Shortly thereafter Joel Sherman of the New York Post revealed which prospects were headed back to the Mets. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle first noted that the international bonus pool amount was $1MM, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic made first mention that the A’s were taking on all of Familia’s remaining salary.
More to come…