Should we trust Billy Eppler more or less after the trade deadline?

Dec 19, 2022; NY, NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler introduces pitcher Kodai Senga
Dec 19, 2022; NY, NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler introduces pitcher Kodai Senga / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets were big time sellers at the trade deadline. They underperformed for a majority of the season leading to some drastic moves that would change the landscape of baseball in Queens for years to come. Having the highest payroll in Major League Baseball meant absolutely nothing as this team disappointed not only the fanbase but Mets Owner Steve Cohen as well.

Cohen was very adamant about the blame of this failed season being on the players.

However, if you are going to blame the players, you also have to blame the guy who brought them here. GM Billy Eppler is not absolved of his part in putting this team together. Eppler is trying to atone for his roster blunders, which raises the question.

Should we trust Mets GM Billy Eppler more or less after the trade deadline?

Now I started to raise a concern about Eppler’s roster ineptitude during the 2022 trade deadline when he only brought in Daniel Vogelbach, Tyler Naquin, Mychal Givens, and the disastrous Darin Ruf to a team, that at the time, seemed to be heading for a deep run in the postseason.

Following the Mets early departure in the Wild Card round, Eppler had a chance to upgrade the team during free agency. 

There were some necessary resignings that had to be made but he basically brought the entire team back that underachieved late last season instead of making full upgrades.

This led to a very disappointing 2023 season, where the Mets regressed and have been inconsistent all around, whether on offense, defense, or pitching.

The start was so bad that Steve Cohen had to hold a press conference to pretty much forewarn the media of his plan of action if they did not turn this thing around. Well, as you could see, the turnaround didn’t happen and Cohen put Eppler to work at the trade deadline.

I will give Eppler credit for sticking to the plan Cohen requested and hitting it head on. They sold off a huge portion of the roster by trading away their best reliever and their top 2 pitchers who were supposed to lead the rotation.

Not only did Eppler trade David Robertson, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Tommy Pham, Mark Canha, and Dominic Leone, but he was able to replenish the farm system, specifically the top ten.

The Mets farm system has been on the rise after the last couple of drafts but wasn’t quite top of the line yet. Following these trades and with the additions to the top 10 of Luisangel Acuña, Drew Gilbert, Ryan Clifford, and Marco Vargas among others, the Mets are building a juggernaut on the farm and may be able to use some of these assets to get a superstar.

Does this sway me into trusting Billy Eppler moving forward? Well, it’s a start but I am not quite there yet.

My concern with Billy has always been with the roster construction of the Major League team. Not with signing free agents because Cohen’s checkbook is basically unlimited but with the way he constructs the bench and the bullpen, an area that has decimated the Mets during his tenure as GM.

I am not saying that I can never trust Billy, I am saying that he has a lot of work to do before he wins me over.