Two years ago, the Yankees reeled in a remarkable haul in dealing closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs.
They landed four players, including infielder Gleyber Torres, the Cubs’ top prospect and one of baseball’s best.
LHP Aroldis Chapman –> #Cubs
RHP Adam Warren, SS Gleyber Torres and OFs Billy McKinney & Rashad Crawford –> #Yankees
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 25, 2016
This weekend, the Mets traded their own star closer on the last year of his contract, Jeurys Familia, to the A’s.
While he’s not quite at Chapman’s level, Familia is one of baseball’s best closers.
And yet, the Mets’ return is embarrassing.
So the Mets’ total haul for Jeurys Familia is Oakland’s 17th-ranked prospect (Toffey), an unranked relief prospect (Wahl) and $1 million in international pool money. They also shave about $3 million in salary off their books.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 21, 2018
William Toffey is 23 and hasn’t even broken into Double-A yet. Bobby Wahl is a 26-year-old in Triple-A.
Why the pitiful pull?
It probably has just about everything to do with the Mets’ not eating any of Familia’s remaining salary.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because New York did the same thing last year, dumping Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda, and Addison Reed (and their remaining salaries) for nothing but fringe relief prospects.
Mets ownership is clearly still suffering from Fred Wilpon’s getting duped by Bernie Madoff; the team hasn’t broken into the top 11 in MLB payroll since 2011, despite residence in the nation’s largest market.
But even small-market teams eat salary in rebuild-focused trades to acquire more talent.
Which is why it’s so blatant that the Mets’ moves this year and last were merely cost-saving measures, not efforts to improve the team.
It’s time for the league to take the Mets away from the Wilpons, and hand the franchise to someone who can actually afford one.