David Stearns is now officially the New York Mets President of Baseball Operations and is already making big moves to the organization. Buck Showalter was first to go, which was expected as Stearns wants to bring in his guy as manager, but that is another story for another day.
On Thursday, we learned Billy Eppler stepped down as Mets general manager. It is a shock for some people, but Stearns is running the show now, and Eppler wouldn't have much power anyway, which is probably why he decided to step down. Let's examine Eppler's tenure as Mets general manager and access it.
Biily Eppler's final grade as Mets general manager: C-
You can look at Eppler's tenure as general manager and have many opinions. Even though I gave him a poor grade overall for his few seasons as general manager, he did some good things for the organization. Bringing future Hall of Famers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander to the team was good signings at the time. Some may ask, were they really good moves when Max was only here for a year and a half and never showed up in big games, and Verlander was only here for half a season? All that is reasonable, but in the moment, at those times, they were good signings that most fans backed up.
When Eppler and Cohen realized they wouldn't make a run this season, Eppler could trade Scherzer and Verlander in return for top prospects such as Luisangel Acuna, Drew Gilbert, and Ryan Clifford. You can say that Steve Cohen was more of a factor in those trades by being able to pay most of those contracts to get better prospects in return, which is probably correct, but it does go on Eppler's resume as one of his moves.
Perhaps his best move was signing Kodai Senga; with his ties and connections in the Japanese leagues, getting Senga to New York was one of the only bright spots of the past season, as he will be a big part of this rotation for years. However, with Eppler, good came with a lot of bad that left fans scratching their head.
The 2022 season's trade deadline was abysmal for Eppler as the Mets looked like prime World Series contenders, and Eppler did little to nothing to improve the team. He brought Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf to DH for the rest of last season, which was laughable. Vogelbach added little to no value, and Ruf was so bad they had to cut him earlier this past season. Also, late last season, Eppler and the Mets decided to bring up top prospect Francisco Alaverz to set him up to fail by throwing him into the fire instead of bringing him up earlier in the season when they should have.
He came into this season with few changes and improvements and did no favors to the Mets bullpen and the Mets lineup. Coming off of last season, the bullpen should have been more of a priority, but instead, all they added was David Robertson, which was a good move, but he didn't do enough, which showed this season. He thought the lineup would produce the same as the year prior, which wasn't the case. He thought Francisco Alvarez wasn't ready for the big leagues until it took injuries to Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido for them to call him up, which he showed he should have been on the opening day roster.
Eppler's overall tenure as Mets general manager won't be remembered fondly in most Mets fans' eyes, and I can speak for most fans when I say I am ready and excited for the David Stearns era. And with the ongoing investigation, who knows what grade he'll get?