NEW YORK – Facts New York Mets finally found a general manager, hiring Billy Eppler in a move announced Thursday night following their long and mocking search.
Eppler was fired as the GM of Angel of Los Angeles over a year ago after five unsuccessful seasons. But he landed in the same spot as the Mets after a recruitment process turned into a laughing stock while stretching more than six weeks from the end of the 2021 season.
Eppler received a four-year contract to become the 16th general manager in Mets history and their fifth head of baseball operation in a tumultuous 13 months. He will be featured by the team on Friday via Zoom.
With an uncertain season underway, his return to New York marks an important step in restoring stability to the office structure under owner Steve Cohen and president Sandy Alderson.
“I’m so grateful to Steve and Sandy for what I see as the opportunity of a lifetime,” Eppler said in a statement. “We still have a lot of work to do and will begin to work systematically towards our goal of building a winning team for the long haul.”
Eppler, 46, was the GM of the Angels from 2015-20, overseeing five consecutive losing seasons. The team went 332-376 (.469) under three managers, with a rotating lineup of support players around Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
Unable to provide enough pitching, an aggressive Eppler fish brought some large fish to Los Angeles with the help of owner Arte Moreno’s checkbook. He attracts a two-way feeling Shohei Ohtani to the Angels and the third free agent signed Anthony Rendon with a seven-year, $245 million contract. Trout got a deal worth $426.5 million, for 12 years.
“Billy has the experience, grit and respect of the baseball community that will allow him to attract players and office talent to lead the Mets forward,” Cohen said. “He’s a leader who has worked in two of baseball’s biggest markets and his talent and personality will bring us closer to my goal of sustained success.”
While the Angels haven’t won many under Eppler, he’s fueled a formerly barren farm system with several prospects now making big-league-level influence, including All-Star slugger player Jared Walsh, Brandon Marsh, Jo Adell and Reid Detmers.
“One of the most honest people I’ve met in this industry. Great talent reviewer,” Angels director Joe Maddon said of Eppler at the end of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. “I’m sure he’ll land firmly on his feet.”
Two months ago, Eppler joined WME Sports as part of their baseball team.
“For the past two decades, Billy has been a scout and a GM assistant. He’s also familiar with the New York market. This qualifies him to lead our efforts in the field. future,” Alderson said. “He’s smart, he’s fast-paced and has a keen eye for talent. He’s going to make us better. I’m really pleased that we have someone of his caliber. lead the Mets.”
Eppler graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1998 with a degree in finance and worked in player recruitment and development for Colorado Rockies from 2000-04. Then he joined New York Yankees and become a rising star at their main office. He was director of professional scouting from 2006-11 and assistant GM under Brian Cashman from 2012-14.
Eppler is sure to be immediately busy with the Mets, the 11-player team who have become free agents and are yet to sign a contract. The group includes midfielder Javy Báez and the starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. Person in power Michael Conforto declined the team’s $18.4 million qualifying offer on Wednesday, and pitcher Noah Syndergaard left the Mets on Tuesday with a $21 million, one-year deal with the Angels.
Syndergaard also received a qualifying offer of $18.4 million from New York.
With a GM finally on hand to direct the search, the Mets will now turn their attention to picking a new manager following the departure of Luis Rojas on October 4 after two seasons. failure.
Rojas was hired across town Monday as the Yankees’ new third-base coach.
Alderson, who turns 74 next week, has been running baseball operations since acting GM Zack Scott was placed on paid leave after being arrested in late August for drunk driving. He was fired on November 1.
Scott was promoted in January when Jared Porter was fired less than 40 days after it was revealed he had sent sexually explicit text messages and pictures to a female reporter in 2016 while working for the agency. Chicago Cubs.
Porter and Scott were hired in the final season after Alderson and Cohen failed to find the president of baseball operations. The club encountered a similar hurdle this season and switched to GM again.
Alderson said some applicants were unable to get permission from their current clubs to interview for jobs, while others declined because they were too comfortable personally or professionally.
He said he was a bit surprised by the number of applicants who turned down the Mets. However, for the most part he thinks that it is New York that is keeping people away.
“I don’t want to give you a timeline,” Alderson said last week at a meeting of generals in California. “We’ve passed what most people would say is a reasonable timeline.”
Alderson, whose son, Bryn, is an assistant general manager for the Mets, did not rule out the possibility that a baseball executive chairman could be hired on GM in a future season.
“Assuming we only hire one person, there will be at least a year for that person to demonstrate their abilities and potential,” Alderson said. “I’ve said this to other people before – it’s chance. It’s all you can ask for. And demonstrated ability tends to get rewarded.
“If you want to be comfortable, this is probably not the place, the Mets probably isn’t the place to be,” he added.
Alderson joked during GM meetings that he’s interviewed so many candidates for the Mets job that “probably half of the people would be here today.”
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel also found humor in the situation, writing that “after much thought, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration as the GM of @Mets.”
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/32663907/new-york-mets-announce-billy-eppler-new-gm-4-year-contract New York Mets Announce Billy Eppler As New GM On 4-Year Contract