Mets Minors: John Ricco is robbed in first GM action

Most people will know that the Mets traded their closer, Jeurys Familia, to the Oakland Athletics for two C-Level prospects in William Toffey and Bobby Wahl. This isn’t to say that Toffey and Wahl have no value but it proves that the Mets need to hire Sandy Alderson’s replacement because the current braintrust isn’t doing the team any favors.

Yet, why am I so upset about the Mets trading a rental closer? Teams are not going to pay top dollar for a relief pitcher who is only going to walk away at the end of the 2018 season. The Mets got two players and shed some salary, we should all be satisfied.

No, flip that, maybe we shouldn’t.

A week or so ago the Cleveland Indians traded a Top 5 prospect, Francisco Mejia, for Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. Now, certainly Hand is locked up for more seasons but he and Familia are similar in age and Familia, it could be argued, has the better arsenal of weapons. Add to this that Hand is like to make a pretty hefty amount in his arbitration raises and it becomes more questionable. Furthermore, Cimber is a 27 year old rookie with a mixed bag of results over a five year minor league history.

Could the Mets not have come up with a package of equitable value? Could the Mets not have found more value than Oakland gave them? I’d argue they could have and they should have.

So, what did they get?

Toffey, a left-handed hitting third baseman, showed a reasonably good eye in his post college debut in 2017. Toffey now appears to have improved his limited power but gained a tendency to swing and miss. A Fourth Round pick, Toffey has some chance to bounce back into being in the B-Level echelon of prospects with an extremely slim outside chance of progressing into a major league starter.

Wahl is the latest shot-in-the-dark reliever to join the Mets via fire sale. I think he has signs of being a potentially viable relief option and is likely the better part of the deal. At the age of 25 he turned in a masterful start to the season in AAA (which is no easy task for a PCL pitcher) before looking very human in the majors. The silver lining is that at 25 and on the cusp of the majors the Mets will not be waiting for their return on Wahl for long.


Jeff McNeil continues to build his case for a debut – It’s only a matter of time before John Ricco pulls the trigger on a deal that sends Asdrubal Cabrera to a contender for a smattering of prospects. At that point, McNeil is a near lock to make his way to the majors. (Batting over .300 for the past 10 games and for his entire time in AAA)

Dominic Smith’s return spurs Peter Alonso to action – After struggling with the bat and glove, Alonso’s bat has woken up to welcome his main competition back to AAA. (3 Home Runs in his past 4 games)

Chris Flexen makes it three in a row – Three quality starts in his last three outings in the difficult PCL. Flexen still looks, to me, like a major league starter in the back end of a rotation. (19 IP, 3 ER, 14 K)


Justin Dunn is back in the Top 5 – His rebound season continues to be a point of major positive energy in the Met system. At this rate Dunn may earn a spot in Baseball America’s Top 100 once again. (7/21 Start: 6.0 IP, 7 Hits, 0 ER, 2 BBs, 7 K)

Levi Michael is a star in AA – The 27 year old former prospect is tearing up AA for the Rumble Ponies and powering the heart of the order. (Batting .417 with 1 HR, 7 BBs and 2 SB in the last 10 games)

Tim Tebow landed on the DL with a hand injury. He’s had both X-rays and an MRI already and is scheduled to see a specialist on Monday.  Best-case scenario is that he’s out seven days.


Ali Sanchez has been great in Florida – Since his promotion he’s been everything that the scouts were hoping for. It is still to early to hope that he holds onto this offensive strength and reaches the majors though. (Batting .314/.352/.451 in 16 games at Advanced A)

Andres Gimenez got a promotion to Binghamton following his appearance in the Futures Game.  He finished his time at St. Lucie with a .282/.348/.432 line and he was leading the Florida State League with 28 stolen bases.


Anthony Dirocie handles mid-season promotion well – A good sign for the 21 year old outfielder who tore through the APP on his way to the NYP. (.303/.465/.394 in his 11 games in Brooklyn)

Wagner Lagrange putting together another solid year – After a wonderful 2017 and 2018 it looks like Lagrange is ready for more. (He’s hitting .371 over his last 10 games)

Jaison Vilera has yet to pitch poorly – In his 7 starts for the year his worst outing only saw him give up 1 run. (Currently sporting an ERA of 0.92 for the year)


Raul Beraciarte looks pretty great – The 19 year old outfielder is hitting, showing power, showing patience and stealing bases. (He also has an OPS of 1.054)

Luis Santana is shows great patience – He keeps getting on base at a prodigious rate. (His OBP is sitting at a healthy .455 for the year)


Ronny Mauricio looks like a star – He not only hits the ball regularly but with authority. (He has 15 extra base hits in 28 games)

11 comments for “Mets Minors: John Ricco is robbed in first GM action

  1. Chris F
    July 23, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Controllable years David, pure and simple. I didn’t expect too much for a 10 week rental for a second tier closer. I think the overwhelming poor mark for the Mets indicates more could have been had, how much? Guess we will never know.

    Also, Ricco said that Ricchiardi has Toffey on radar previously, and it was his call. Ricco and Omar helped it along (ie, threw Ricchiardi under the bus).

    Anyway, it’s a less than auspicious start, and perhaps evidence this group needs to be move on from.

  2. Joe Gomes
    July 23, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Is the same BS every year when it comes to trades. “We are willing to pick up money” in order to get a better player back. Never happens, never.

    This organization is so full of it, they should be thankful to be in Flushing.

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  3. July 23, 2018 at 11:42 am

    I don’t see anything wrong with the return they got for what they traded, which includes the money they got out from under. They got a reliever who might help, an extra $1 million to spend internationally and some org filler for a guy who’s going to be the third wheel in the A’s pen. You’re just not going to get as much for a guy to be used as a set-up man compared to a guy who’s going to be a closer.

    To me, the question is if they could have made an even better deal if they waited until the deadline or if they paid the salary. I guess you can argue that more teams are in it now, so it’s more of a seller’s market. But I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t have “bought” a better prospect by paying the $3-$4 million.

    Since the Mets are being more liberal with their minor league promotions this year, they need to bump Valera up to Columbia.

    • David Groveman
      July 23, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Agreed on Vileira (who might be in the Top 10 for me)

  4. Eraff
    July 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I’m not too excited about measuring the return here—Other than observing that both guys involved are very close to adding to an MLB Roster (or falling out of Prospect Status).

    That sends a very clear message that the current Mets Regime is prepping for 2019 readiness and production from the new players.

    Add that to the $1,000,000 international signing bonus addition, and this may be a more useful trade than the OP sees….although I do question the idea of a “quick rebuild”, and I Certainly question the “Re-Builders” in charge!!!

    I’ll feel alot better about this transaction if they suddenly sign an additional International—say, before Wednesday.

  5. TJ
    July 23, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Why isn’t Wahl on the major league roster right now? Can the Mets afford the airfare?

  6. Eraff
    July 23, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I’m guessing they want to do a quick “intake” on Wahl—get a few sets of Coaches Eyes on him before they put him in front of their fans

  7. MattyMets
    July 23, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks for the insight and nice reporting, Dave. I have to disagree on Flexen. He’s looked really overmatched to me in his couple of big league stints.

    How far off are we from labeling Dom Smith a bust? I certainly don’t think the organization has done him any favors.

  8. Name
    July 23, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t know why people try to comp to Hand when the obvious comp is Kelvin Herrera, who was traded a couple of weeks ago for a similar package.

    • TJ
      July 23, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Agreed Hand is not a comp given the years of control, but it is hard to believe they couldn’t negotiate more out of the Astros or Cubs, two teams with legit championship aspirations and so so bullpens.

    • Chris B
      July 24, 2018 at 9:35 pm


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