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Mets not willing to trade top prospects to get outside help

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The Mets’ current struggles haven’t changed anything for Billy Eppler. 

He isn’t making any changes to the Mets’ philosophy surrounding the team’s top prospects, no matter how much they can use — or need — outside reinforcements to help turn their spiraling season around. 

The Mets’ general manager answered questions for more than 20 minutes before the team’s game against the Brewers, a 7-2 Mets win, on Tuesday with his club in a free-fall. 

Even with the Mets’ entering Tuesday’s game a season-worst eight games below .500, Eppler remained against parting with one of the team’s top prospects to bring in a player that can contribute immediately and perhaps help save their season. 

“Same approach [as last year],” Eppler said. “Last year we were not particularly willing to part with the top-level talent.

“There were some situations where we talked about those players with other clubs, but it was gonna be for players that we would control for multiple years going forward.

Ronny Mauricio is one of the team’s top prospects.
Corey Sipkin for NY Post

“When that didn’t come to light, we weren’t going to move those guys for rental players. I think our approach will be the same.” 

Acquiring a largely depleted farm system when he was hired, Eppler has previously expressed his intention to use owner Steve Cohen’s deep pockets in order to turn the team into a contender immediately but to also continuously build up their farm system and create a more sustainable path to acquiring talent in the long run.

That plan has thus far failed, with the Mets closer to last place than a playoff spot despite a record-breaking $364 million payroll.  

“The only other way [other than spending] that you can supplement a major-league team is by trading prospects — and that’s not going to serve that long-term goal — or spend money,” Eppler said.

The Mets selected Kevin Parada in the first round last year.
The Mets selected Kevin Parada in the first round last year.
Corey Sipkin for NY Post

“I commented this winter time with where our payroll went and the commitment of Steve and Alex [Cohen] to this team, [spending] was the end goal that we chose to go in order to put a competitive, put a contending team on the field.” 

During last year’s trade deadline, Eppler had said he stayed away from trading any of the team’s top-19 prospects despite the Mets being in World Series contention and certainly in position to look to add another piece for a playoff run. 

New York Mets GM Billy Eppler, left, speaks with manager Buck Showalter at Spring Training, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

With his team currently in almost the reverse situation, likely needing a move to save any playoff hopes that remain, Eppler is staying committed to his vision. 

The idea, Eppler claimed, is to create as big of a title window as possible. 

“I think the ultimate goal here is to build our World Series odds over a longer-term horizon,” Eppler said.

“So the things that are going to serve that goal will get put in front of any kind of shorter-term goal.”  

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