Billy Eppler addresses Jacob deGrom impending 2022 FA “The relationship is positive”

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Jacob deGrom Mets
Jacob deGrom (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

To say that Billy Eppler had a roller-coaster of a first season as New York Mets general manager would be an understatement. 

Free agent additions Starling Marte, Mark Canha, Max Scherzer, and Eduardo Escobar helped New York end their six-year playoff drought. But a lack of movement along the trade deadline coupled with injuries to older starters sank the Mets’ 2022 campaign in the wild-card round of the MLB playoffs. 

Now, Eppler begins arguably the most important off-season in recent memory for the Metropolitans.

The Mets have key players like closer Edwin Diaz, starting pitcher Chris Bassitt, centerfielder Brandon Nimmo and relievers Adam Ottavino and Seth Lugo all as impending free agents in a few weeks.

Then there is the pending free agency of two-time Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom. 

DeGrom has been quiet about his future in New York since he announced early in-season that the ace would be opting out of his current contract after the season is over. Rumors about the Atlanta Braves or Texas Rangers have surrounded deGrom as he’s recovered from a myriad of injuries over the year. 

While the future of deGrom staying in New York remains in doubt, Billy Eppler has been consistent about the communication the two sides have had. 

“He knows how we feel and I know how he feels. We had a good amount of dialogue throughout the season. The relationship is positive.” Eppler told reporters Friday morning. 

The Met’s GM also made the note that he and deGrom had spoken after Sunday’s wild-card loss as well. 

DeGrom will be the main storyline going into an important offseason for Billy Eppler and the New York Mets. Will Eppler’s words about a positive relationship with deGrom quell the fanbase’s fear? That will ultimately be decided once free agency begins. 

Billy Eppler has no regrets

Professional sports results have a very quick, and profound way of changing on a dime. A player, coach, or executive can be doing well for so long, then one wrong move can ultimately change the entire outlook of said player, team, or organization. 

Billy Eppler is a perfect example of that quick change. While his free-agent acquisitions panned out in droves, the lack of aggressive moves at the deadline ultimately has fans and analysts alike questioning his future with the team. New York was criticized for not parting ways with young prospects to help the team currently. It doesn’t appear that Eppler is regretting the lack of moves though. 

“It’s hard to pinpoint what would’ve been better…We did build the team to be able to pitch in the postseason…ultimately we fell short at the very end” Eppler said. 

To a point, Billy Eppler is right. The Mets were fourth in baseball in wins, fifth in team ERA, and fourth in runs scored. Winning 101 games is no small feat. 

But the game three loss to San Diego at home has fans wondering what could be in store for the future of the Mets with so many free agents potentially leaving the team. Billy Eppler’s job is reportedly safe, along with manager Buck Showalter. The front office also understands that several moves will need to be made to continue and make the Mets a viable winner. Owner, Steve Cohen has backed Eppler’s vision of “building sustainability is not going to come via free agency. It’s going to come internally.”

“I’ve had a number of conversations with Steve (Cohen). He’s given me that nod to continue to make decisions” Eppler explained. 

The future of Nimmo, deGrom, Diaz, and several others remain unsolved. That will only be determined in a few weeks, but it’s clear the Mets are confident in the latest step they’ve taken to reach the postseason. 

Now it will be up to Billy Eppler to continue to improve and build a sustained winner in New York. 

For more New York Mets news, turn to AMNY.com



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