NL East fans can rejoice at the Met’s latest hiring.
In an off-season with the CBA expiring and an insanely stacked free-agent class, one of the biggest stories has been the New York Mets GM search. Since longtime GM Sandy Alderson left the team after 2018, the Mets have been unable to fill the void. Since the start of the 2019 season, the Mets have had three different GMs and are currently looking for a solution to the revolving door.
However, over the past few months, it seems that no one was interested in the position. David Stearns, Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, Matt Arnold, and Scott Harris are just a few of those who were either prevented from interviewing for the job by their team or rejected the offer.
Despite the large payroll and high-profile players on the roster, the Mets have been viewed as dysfunctional. Over the last few seasons, the Mets have been knee-deep in scandals, from Jared Porter to Mickey Calloway to Zack Scott.
Team President Sandy Alderson’s recent comments regarding the team’s GM search haven’t helped either.
“There’s no tanking in New York. It’s always a competition, it’s always a desire to win. …I would say it’s not unforgiving, but it’s a demanding place — which I enjoy, by the way.”
Oh yes. Candidates are being scared off because of the pressures of New York. Not because of the team’s mounting issues.
Despite their initial struggles, the Mets have finally found their man, Billy Eppler. Yesterday it was announced Epler and the Mets were finalizing a deal for him to become the team’s new GM. Eppler has plenty of experience, having been the Angels GM from 2015-2020. Yet, it may not have been the wisest decision.
Bold Strategy Cotton
After a tumultuous start to the process, the Mets decided the best decision was to hire the guy who couldn’t build around Mike Trout. That is music to NL East team’s ears. The Mets owner Steve Cohen has made it clear he is willing to spend money in order to win now. Combine Cohen’s wallet with a roster that already includes Francisco Lindor and Jacob deGrom and the Mets could finally become a factor in the NL East.
Instead, they decided to hire a guy who is best friends with David Stearns, the Brewers President of Baseball Operations. Why is this important? Because the Mets have been continually rejected by Brewers ownership to interview the mastermind for their GM role. This was the second straight year they were turned away.
Putting all of their eggs in the David Stearns basket is not the right move. Instead, they need to forge their own path and continue to build around deGrom and Lindor. Unfortunately, they are waiting an entire year before putting their plan into motion.
For the Mets, this move is a huge gamble. Eppler’s track record with the Angels is spotty at best. Yes, he signed Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon, but he also ignored the rotation to the point that it has become a liability. Most importantly, over his six years with the Angels, they finished with a winning record once (2015).
Eppler joins a team that needs pitching help. deGrom is coming off of a season-ending injury, Marcus Stroman is a free agent, and Noah Syndergaard just signed a one-year deal with the Angels. Talk about ironic.
The Mets had a chance to finally get over the hump and instead settled on a very risky move that could blow up in their faces.