We still have over a week before the MLB Trade Deadline. The New York Mets and Oakland A's got things going with a pretty big Jeurys Familia trade though, and the Mets fan base is incensed.
Familia has been one of the better closers in baseball over the last few years. With the Mets out of contention, it made sense that the team might look to move him for pieces that can help over the next couple of years.
The trade with the A's falls short of that. In return for Familia, the Mets are getting Bobby Wahl, a middling 26-year old relief pitcher currently in Triple-A, and William Toffey, a High-A 23-year old third baseman, who was ranked the 17th best player in Oakland's farm system.
The deal falls well short of the return that was being speculated at first reports of the trade last night.
Part of the reason the Jeurys Familia trade return is so meager may be because the A's are taking on his entire remaining salary.
The Mets had previously said that they would do the opposite, and take on cash if it meant getting a better return.
The Mets front office is currently in a bit of disarray, after general manager Sandy Alderson stepped away due to health concerns. A trio of assistant general managers are currently running the team, but it is hard to know what, if any, role they will have with the franchise going forward.
The monetary part of the deal also looks terrible for ownership, which is among the most unpopular groups in all of sports. The Wilpon family has faced scrutiny for being cheap after being tied up in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. This certainly doesn't paint a picture of financial health for the big-market franchise.
Along with concerns that the team has mismanaged the health of superstar outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Mets fans online have had a very rough day. With this Jeurys Familia trade news, the franchise is getting crushed by fan and media member alike. ESPN's Keith Law had a very sharp rebuke in the beginning of an article, the rest of which is behind the Insider paywall.
If the New York Mets are just going to trade their most valuable major league assets for salary relief, rather than to try to improve the club, then it's time for MLB to step in and force the Wilpons to sell the team, just as the league did with Frank McCourt and the Dodgers. Trading Jeurys Familia for two fringe-at-best prospects is not how any team, regardless of payroll level, should operate in this environment. For a franchise that operates in the largest market in the league to do this -- and do so 10 days before the trade deadline rather than waiting for someone to offer a legitimate return -- is embarrassing for the Mets and for Major League Baseball as a whole.
He is not alone. Not even close.
To round things out appropriately, the Mets lost their Subway Series game to the Yankees today, 7-6. After one of the hottest starts in all of baseball back in April, which feels like two decades ago for Mets fans, the team is 40-56.