The Mets have had a losing record four out of the last five seasons and have not made the playoffs since 2016. Owner Steve Cohen, a lifelong Mets fan, who purchased the team in September of last year, is putting his trust in Billy Eppler to prudently utilize some of his billions to resuscitate the team.
Eppler was hired as the Mets’ new general manager as announced by the organization last Thursday and was introduced to the media on Friday. After reports that many prominent executives in baseball had little to no interest in taking the job, Eppler, 46, who was fired as the Los Angeles Angels GM a little over 14 months ago after five losing seasons, was seemingly the most appealing willing candidate on the market for the Mets’ key decision makers, which includes team president Sandy Alderson, who led the search.
“I’m so thankful to Steve and Sandy for what I consider an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Eppler in a statement following his signing to a four-year contract. “We have a lot of work to do and will systematically begin to work towards our goal of building a perennial winner.”
The Mets finished 77-85 last season, third in the National League East. Eppler previously worked for the Yankees as an assistant general manager from 2012-’14 and before that was their director of professional scouting. “Over the past two decades, Billy has been a scout and an assistant GM. He’s also more than familiar with the New York market,” said Alderson.
“He’s smart, he hustles and has a keen eye for identifying talent. He’s going to make us better. I am really pleased that we have someone of his caliber leading the Mets.” The Mets’ quest for a general manager who will provide stability and an actionable vision has been an elusive endeavor over the past four seasons. Since the 74-year-old Alderson’s tenure as GM from 2010-’18, the Mets have had seven men, including Alderson for a brief second stint this past season, hold the title as permanent or interim general manager.
He stepped in to temporarily fill the day-to-day responsibilities after acting GM Zack Scott was placed on paid leave due to being arrested for drunken driving. Scott, who had attended a fundraiser at Cohen’s house in Connecticut hours before his arrest, was fired Nov. 1.
Scott had been elevated to acting GM resulting from Jared Porter’s termination. Porter’s stay was short-lived, lasting from December 2020 to January 2021 following the disclosure that he had sent unsolicited sexually explicit images and texts to a female reporter in 2016 when he worked for the Chicago Cubs. The judgement of Alderson in his hiring of general managers is justifiably in question as Scott and Porter were brought on under his stewardship.