Billy Eppler Dec 19, 2022; NY, NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler introduces pitcher Kodai Senga (not pictured) during a press conference at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In the days leading up to Major League Baseball’s trading deadline, the New York Mets have signaled to the rest of the league that they’re open for business. That was clear when the team traded its closer, David Roberston, to the Miami Marlins earlier this week. It became even more clear when New York shipped off 39-year-old Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers on Saturday evening.

Believe it or not, the Mets and owner Steve Cohen have saved money in the process. They’ve acquired three prospects, including the younger brother of Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr., who will undoubtedly boost their farm system. While this season has been a failure in every sense of the word, the Mets have decided to change gears, transitioning to selling rather than buying ahead of this year’s deadline. 

While that may come as a surprise for the team who entered Opening Day with the highest payroll in the sport, it seems like a necessary move considering the trajectory of the franchise since June. The Mets are certainly not out of the Wild Card race, but by selling off pieces, it’s clear what direction the franchise is headed in.

And with that, general manager Billy Eppler spoke about why those trades were made.

“Kind of given the place we’re in and the odds we’re facing, it was a strategic decision,” Eppler said of trading Scherzer to the Rangers. “And we kind of took this opportunity to serve another goal of the organization, which is to enhance the farm system. But I do want to be clear that it’s not a rebuild. It’s not a fire sale. It’s not a liquidation. This is just a repurposing of Steve’s investment in the club and shifting that investment from the team into the organization.”

Eppler was asked about the direction of the franchise and indicated that even though they traded Robertson and Scherzer, and could trade the likes of Mark Canha, Tommy Pham and even Justin Verlander in the coming days, the Mets have no plans to “punt” on the 2024 season.

“We’re gonna have a competitive team,” he said. “Like I said, we just don’t want to endure long stretches of being bad. That’s not gonna be satisfying to anybody. Steve’s made the investment. He wants an elite farm system. He’s articulated that and I’ve regurgitated that goal and shared that goal, and that’s what we’re after.”

It certainly remains to be seen what the Mets will do in the next couple of days, at least we now know the vision for the organization going forward.

[SNY on Twitter]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.