The New York Mets finally have their new general manager in Billy Eppler.
— Robert Shields (@rshields37) November 16, 2021
The next thing on the agenda would be bringing in a new manager, after the team decided not to bring back Luis Rojas after two losing seasons.
After that, the Mets have a lot of work to do to improve the roster to the point in which overtaking the Atlanta Braves, the reigning National League East and World Series champions, is a concrete possibility.
But for now, the organization could be on the verge of finally finding some stability in the front office.
Brodie Van Wagenen, a former agent, was the last general manager in the Wilpon era, from October 2018 to November 2020.
Once Steve Cohen, the current owner, took over the team, the Mets dismissed Van Wagenen and brought in Jared Porter to be the new GM and Zack Scott to be his assistant.
A Year Marked By Off-The-Field Controversies
Porter was seen as an up-and-coming executive with plenty of experience with several World Series champions, and Scott was also building a nice resume.
However, it all abruptly ended for Porter, in January 2021.
ESPN revealed on January 18, 2021 that Porter had sent over 60 unsolicited text messages to a female journalist in 2016 when he was with the Chicago Cubs.
The messages were of the explicit variety.
The Mets fired him, and he was banned through the 2022 season by MLB.
Scott then took over baseball decisions for a few months, until August 2021.
That month, he was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
The Mets were supposed to wait until the resolution of his case, but it was delayed, so they decided to fire Scott on November 1 and embark in search of a new general manager.
After flirting with at least 10 candidates, including David Stearns, Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, and many more, they chose Eppler.
A New Era Begins
Eppler has extensive scouting experience from his days with the New York Yankees, and also had a stint as the general manager of the Los Angeles Angels.
He was with the Halos from 2015 to 2020, and the team couldn’t advance to the postseason during his tenure.
He will have a tall task ahead: helping the Mets find some stability, first, and then improving a roster that has several holes.
The Mets had a tumultuous season in 2021, marked by the scandals of their top executives.
Eppler will have the responsibility of leading by example, with impeccable behavior, and making sure everybody does the same.
He needs to bring respect back to the Mets, and using that foundation, the team will grow.
Eppler already sounds more intelligent & looks way more comfortable then Scott or Porter ever did.
— Diane M (@MetsSouthFla) November 19, 2021
The Mets as a franchise have had enough scandals, controversies, and off-the-field incidents, and that needs to stop now.
Only time will tell if Eppler is the leader the organization needs, but he will have ample financial resources and some very good prospects at his disposal to make things work.