Mets Monday Morning GM: 3 unfair criticisms of Billy Eppler

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
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Billy Eppler has gotten pummeled by New York Mets fans in recent weeks. Rightfully so. A lot of his decisions have led to the team squandering away a great opportunity. While very much alive, it’s an uphill climb for the Mets the rest of the way.

General managers and the coaches on the field draw the ire of fans equally as much as the players. Sometimes it’s not always the fairest of criticisms.

Of course, Eppler has been a questionable GM for the Mets thus far. He hasn’t done anything special. Spending Steve Cohen’s money is his biggest talent. We could all do that. It’s easy to roast him, but these criticisms aren’t justified. Maybe next week will be 300 fair criticisms. We'll see.

1) There wasn’t much the NY Mets could’ve done when Edwin Diaz got hurt

Unhappy with the way the Mets bullpen looks right now? You’re not on an island alone. Australia isn’t a big enough continent to hold the number of people who should be disgusted with the way this looks. It is largely Eppler’s fault. What he doesn’t deserve blame for was his lack of adding another arm when the Mets lost Edwin Diaz for the season.

It was March 16. The Ides of March. Mets fans were watching Diaz celebrate on the field in the World Baseball Classic when suddenly our hearts sank. Such a minor event had major implications.

The Mets have gotten plenty out of David Robertson as the closer, but not having him for earlier innings has been tough. Robertson was meant to be a righty assassin who could get lefties out. Elevated to closer duties, it’s one of those parts of the roster that should’ve been addressed long before having lost Diaz.

Mets fan-favorite free agent and trade target Andrew Chafin signed a full month earlier with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Matt Moore, a lefty in the Los Angeles Angels bullpen, had his deal in place only a day after Chafin on February 16, 2023.

What could the Mets have possibly done to improve the situation? If you say sign a free agent, who? If you say make a trade, who would’ve possibly been available?

Don’t blame Eppler for inaction after the Diaz injury. Options weren’t limited, they were non-existent. The real mistake came well before and even then this critique would probably be present.