EPPLER PUSHES ‘RESET’ BUTTON ON HIS CAREER[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_btn title=”EMAIL NEWSLETTER” style=”flat” shape=”square” color=”black” size=”sm” align=”center” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fjohnstrubel.com%2F2021%2F10%2Femail-updates%2F”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Less than a week after since being named general manager of the New York Mets, Billy Eppler has made the leap from no seat to the hot seat — in New York, no less.
Eppler appeared this morning on MLB Network Radio this morning just a few hours after team owner Steve Cohen published this tweet:
I’m not happy this morning . I’ve never seen such unprofessional behavior exhibited by a player’s agent. I guess words and promises don’t matter. – @StevenACohen2
How’s that for timing?
Eppler didn’t blink. He did his segment and moved on to the job — the BIG job — dropped on his lap.
He is already trying to play catch up. The Mets need a manager. They need to begin laying the groundwork on filling major holes, starting with pitching (both starting and bullpen help) and an infusion of offense in the starting lineup and depth off-the-bench.
It is fair to ask:
- Does Eppler have the autonomy to make moves?
- Does he have deep financial support to make a big splash in the free agent market?
- Is Eppler capable of recruiting and signing that kind of player?
If history is any indication, the free agent market has not been kind to Eppler. Despite his experiences with Shohei Ohtani, Eppler said his tenure with the Angels is marked by struggles in the free agent department. He admitted as much in his opening statement to the media, putting to rest any conversation about his past and how it impacts his present and future in New York.
In five seasons as general manager of Los Angeles, the team never posted a winning record and consequently a postseason appearance. “If I reflect back on ’17, ’18, ’19, we really had a real chance to overtake Houston,” he said. “I played it a little bit safer and didn’t want to burden the organization long term. A number of those free-agent deals didn’t work out.”
Full transparency: Eppler led the charge to bring Ohtani to the Angels. But that’s it. Keep in mind, Eppler arrived in Los Angeles with some financial baggage. The Angels had already signed long-term deals for Albert Pujols and Mike Trout and fat contracts were being dolled out to Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson. Eppler was bogged down by Arte Moreno’s poor decisions.
For Eppler, the good news is, he has a fresh start in a city he knows well, fewer barriers and more resources in New York. His deep experience as a scout and talent evaluator will also help. It’s time to press the reset button.