OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - After three years of missing the playoffs and dealing away fan favorites like Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson and Sonny Gray, the Oakland Athletics are trying to steer themselves in the opposite direction.
They certainly took a significant step Saturday by acquiring New York Mets reliever Jeurys Familia to bolster a bullpen that includes All-Star closer Blake Treinen.
“You always want to be in this position where you’re potentially adding,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ve had three years where it’s been just the opposite. Three weeks ago, maybe this isn’t a conversation. But the way the team’s played in the last month put us in a position to be able to do something like this.”
New York gets two minor leaguers for its closer, Triple-A right-hander Bobby Wahl and Class A third baseman Will Toffey, and $1 million in international signing bonus pool allotment. Wahl appeared in seven big league games for the A’s last year.
“This trade hits three major areas,” Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said in a statement. “We got a major league-ready reliever our scouts recommended, a position player who was a high selection from the 2017 draft and strong prospect in the A’s system as well as receiving international bonus pool money to help in the future.”
Traditionally sellers at the deadline, the A’s overcame a slow start and are in the midst of the wild-card picture in the American League. They went into Saturday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants having won 21 of 28 since June 16, tied with the Boston Red Sox for the best record in the majors during that stretch.
An All-Star in 2016, Familia was 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 17 saves in 21 chances with the Mets this season. The 28-year-old right-hander struck out 43 and walked 14 in 40 appearances covering 40⅔ innings.
Although the right-hander can become a free agent after this season, the A’s didn’t shy away from making the move in hopes of enhancing their playoff prospects this year.