Our long national nightmare is over, as we don’t have to hear about the New York Mets’ GM search anymore. After every good candidate either turned the Mets down or threw their phone into the nearest lake, and then every out-of-the-box candidate went full Lou Brown and told Sandy Alderson they had someone on the other line calling about some white walls, the Mets finally landed on Billy Eppler. Because when you get the chance to hire a guy who piloted the Angels to nary a .500 season with the greatest player alive, you can’t miss that bear.
Eppler won the Shohei Ohtani derby, however much credit you want to apply to that, and also was able to sign Anthony Rendon to more of Artie Moreno’s money. He also wasn’t able to find a starting pitcher that ever rose above the level of scenery, nor construct much of a lineup around Mike Trout.
Eppler was also the man who hired Mickey Callaway to be the Angels’ pitching coach before the stories of his monstrous behavior became public, though most everyone has made it clear that Callaway’s reputation was hardly a secret within baseball circles. These stories were only a phone call or two away, and Eppler didn’t make them. But not being generally aware and failing to do one’s homework makes for a perfect Mets GM. It’s like he’s been working there already.
When you’re in the position the Mets are, and you’re actually taking the advice of Chris Christie between Springsteen karaoke sessions that I’m sure he has set up in his living room and does on the hour every hour, all you’re going to get is either old and/or desperate. They have the old in Alderson, and they clearly have the desperate in Eppler.
It all can work with a clean bill of health from Jacob deGrom and a bounceback for just a few months from Noah Syndergaard, should he choose to stay. Eppler has proven he can offer big checks, and two of the top five Angels prospects were his picks. Though that might be more in the “blind squirrel” file than any sign of a keen scouting eye.
But really, who wants the Mets to be anything other than the constantly evolving with the times Cheech and Chong act they’ve always been?