Exactly which responsibilities Billy Eppler will still have with the New York Mets is probably something David Stearns will have to think about. He won’t be getting coffee for Stearns. He’ll have big responsibilities even if his slot in the decision-making process now has a louder voice in front.
Eppler has had an expected reaction during his time with the Mets. He gets praised for the good. He gets dragged for the bad. Somewhat ironically, the trade deadline sell-off won back some good faith for the Mets GM.
His job isn’t completely irrelevant now with Stearns above him. We should be grateful Eppler is reportedly staying because if he was shown the door it could mean a brand new vision and a little bit of history repeated.
Keeping Billy Eppler suggests the NY Mets aren’t going to suddenly change direction like they did in the past
When the Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen, he seemed on a mission to clear out many of the previous regime’s draft picks. Jarred Kelenic was the first big one to go and as much as we cried and screamed about it, he hasn’t become a world-beater for the Seattle Mariners. Nevertheless, Van Wagenen rarely hesitated to subtract from the pieces the previous regime had brought.
The same thing happened when Van Wagenen was replaced. Almost in a full repeat, the Mets traded his first-round draft pick, Pete Crow-Armstrong, to the Chicago Cubs. We’re only now seeing what that kid is made of in the major leagues. It’s a deal on equal footing to the Kelenic deal, especially when we want to narrow in on the front office politics of it.
Eppler came after the Crow-Armstrong trade during a more stable first year with the Mets. He hasn’t traded all that much of significance away from the farm. When was the last time you saw the name J.T. Ginn anyway?
Eppler keeping his position should limit the number of sudden curveballs thrown our way. Grade trades however you’d like. Rip Eppler apart or find reasons to like him. There are differing opinions on everything he has done. One we should all share is how important it is for the Mets to stick with some sort of blueprint and move forward.
This could be a one year thing for Eppler who, while not demoted, lost a ton of power already. The constant presence of Steve Cohen and his understanding of building up the organization from the bottom to the top should help out. Unlike Van Wagenen or Zack Scott who replaced Jared Porter rather quickly in 2021, Stearns has at least done something like this before. He’ll want to leave his mark on the Mets for sure but remaining sensible enough to keep what works around is paramount. Let’s see how reasonable he is.