On how Eppler will evaluate the offense

The Mets had a ton of underperformance on offense, and Steve Cohen said that building a winning team will require some free agent spending and trades.

Eppler needs to figure out if that was a fluke, or if that’s actually what some of those players are.

“The process that we’ll look at when evaluating our offense is what are the underlying process metrics that are kind of driving their performance. Was their an element of unluckiness? Do we expect that maybe the numbers on the back of the baseball card are maybe not, in fact, the real numbers that we would expect from that player to contribute?”

Eppler also hinted at the type of hitters he wants in Queens.

“I guess the framework for players that I tend to gravitate to – and I don’t think this is really that unique or proprietary, because it’s become kind of mainstay in baseball – but… looking for players that are really good decision makers in the batter’s box. They understand swing decisions, and if the ball is over the white, they’re ready to attack it. So a little bit more of a patient but aggressive approach at the same time. Obviously, as far as team building is concerned in general, we’re just gonna really try to grow the run differential of club as much as we can.”

On scandals with the Angels

After Mickey Callaway and the Mets parted ways, he went to the Angels to be their pitching coach, under Eppler. But about a year later, it came to light that Callaway had sexually harassed several women throughout his time in Cleveland, New York, and Anaheim – he was subsequently placed on baseball’s ineligible list, and can apply for reinstatement after the 2022 season.

In 2019, then-Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of a drug overdose while Eppler was the GM, and a high-ranking employee of the Angels was indicted on charges in which he supplied drugs to players.

Both Cohen and Sandy Alderson have spoken in large about changing the culture in New York, and they believe that Eppler can do that, despite what happened with the Angels.

“We’ve done our due diligence,” Cohen said. “It’s an organization, and Billy’s just one person in that organization. We vetted it in multiple ways, we spoke to a lot of people that were around the organization at that time, we spoke to people within baseball, and we’re incredibly comfortable with Billy and his decision-making and his ethics and his integrity.”

“The industry in general…” added Eppler, “has a vetting process that’s evolved, and we have greater resources because of it. In general, the Angels organization has been asked and had answered for it. There’s not really anything more specific I can add today. Just that that industry vetting process has evolved.