In the most definitive sign yet that the Mets have closed the books on any chance of developing their current core back into a championship contender, Saturday they traded closer Jeurys Familia, who has been with the organization since he was 17 years old, to the Oakland Athletics, for a pair of prospects:
The prospect are Will Toffey, a 23-year-old third baseman, and Bobby Wahl, a 26-year-old reliever who has pitched a grand total of 7.2 innings in the majors, in exchange for one of the best relievers in franchise history.
To make this extra gruesome, the team acquiring Familia—the only one of these two teams that might have any real use for a dominant reliever in the foreseeable future—is the Athletics, who started the season with an even gloomier outlook than these fading Mets. Per FiveThirtyEight, the Athletics opened the season with just a 16 percent of making the playoffs, where the Mets had a 24 percent chance, to say nothing of a 14 percent chance of winning the NL East. Today’s revised odds give the A’s a 39 percent chance of snagging an AL Wild Card spot. A recent run of success—they’ve won 22 of 29 entering Sunday—was enough to push them into buyer mode as the trade deadline approaches. The Mets, on the other hand, have the second-worst record in the National League, and virtually no chance of making the playoffs.
But there’s more! The Athletics had the lowest opening day payroll in baseball, at just $62.65 million, or just a little more than a third of what the Mets spent on their opening day roster, which clocked in at fifth-most expensive in MLB. The Mets have been destroyed by injuries for the second consecutive season, but rather than stand pat on the hope that eventually their awful luck will turn in time to wring another contending season out of this crew, they appear to have finally accepted their dismal fate.
Presumably this shift will increase the likelihood of poor Jacob deGrom being cut loose to ply his craft for a baseball team that matters.