Mets Scapegoats: 1 to fire, 1 to put on the hot seat, 1 to be patient with

Cleveland Guardians v New York Mets
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NY Mets fans need to be patient with General Manager Billy Eppler

If your only complaint with Billy Eppler is the 2022 trade deadline, then I'm not sure what to tell you. Outside of that, he's been more than satisfactory as Mets General Manager. Sure, he's given a ton of resources, but he's done a very good job with them making moves that ended up working out very well.

People are very quick to forget about the jump the Mets made in 2022. Going from 77 wins to 101 wins isn't exactly easy, and doing it thanks in large part to players you bring in should earn you some respect. Let's go through it.

Signing Max Scherzer you can say was more of a Steve Cohen move than Eppler considering how accomplished Scherzer is. The other moves though were all Eppler.

Starling Marte was an all-star. Chris Bassitt pitched great for the Mets for all but his last two starts, and they gave up virtually nothing to get him. Adam Ottavino was an incredible bargain at one-year for $4 million. Mark Canha had an OPS+ of 122 and managed to stay healthy for the entire season. Eduardo Escobar was unproductive for most of last season but was trying his best to will the Mets to a division title with his play in September while also being a key clubhouse figure.

The offseason moves all worked out. Simply put, it was one of the better Mets offseasons in franchise history. The trade deadline wasn't as good, but it wasn't as bad as people try and remember.

Daniel Vogelbach was one of the best bats available at the deadline. He has an .830 OPS and a 139 OPS+ as a Met. If you want to say he was bad that's on you, but that's simply not the case. Mychal Givens allowed five runs in his first Mets outing in a game they still won. After that one rough outing, he had a 2.70 ERA in 18 appearances and 20 innings pitched. If you think that's bad that's on you, but you'd be wrong. Darin Ruf absolutely stunk and Eppler deserves blame for that.

The Mets essentially ran back a 101-win roster in 2023 with a couple of changes. Chris Bassitt has a 3.80 ERA for Toronto while Kodai Senga has a 3.94 ERA for the Mets. Taijuan Walker has been awful for the Phillies while Jose Quintana hasn't pitched yet for the Mets due to injury. David Robertson has been lights out in the bullpen while Seth Lugo is on the Injured List for San Diego. Brooks Raley is a very sizeable upgrade over Joely Rodriguez. You can easily make the argument this team on paper is better than the 101-win team.

Is it Eppler's fault that virtually everyone not named Brandon Nimmo has regressed on this team? Is it Eppler's fault that Tylor Megill and David Peterson seemed to have forgotten to pitch? Is it Eppler's fault that Senga has been the only pitcher to make every start for the Mets? The Mets could use more power, but even then, they're 14th in home runs.

When push comes to shove, what're the awful moves he's made? The Tommy Pham signing? The Tomas Nido extension? The Darin Ruf trade? The Vogelbach trade looks bad now, but Holderman was awful for Pittsburgh to the point where he was sent down while Vogelbach was good last season. He's easy to blame, but is far from the problem.