New York Mets GM Billy Eppler‘s announcement that the team was not in rebuild mode despite trading veteran ace Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers prior to the MLB trade deadline has raised eyebrows. According to a report by Foxnews.com, Scherzer has a different perspective on the matter.
A Different Outlook
“I talked to Billy,” Scherzer said to The Athletic. “I was like, ‘OK, are we reloading for 2024?’ He goes, ‘No, we’re not. Basically our vision now is for 2025-2026, ‘25 at the earliest, more like ‘26. We’re going to be making trades around that.”
Scherzer revealed that the Mets do not plan on going after any top free agents during the upcoming offseason either. “I was like, ‘So the team is not going to be pursuing free agents this offseason or assemble a team that can compete for a World Series next year?’ He said, ‘No, we’re not going to be signing the upper-echelon guys. We’re going to be on the smaller deals within free agency. ‘24 is now looking to be more of a kind of transitory year,’” Scherzer explained.
The Trade Deadline Approach
Scherzer also shared that Eppler explained that players who were eligible for free agency after the 2024 season were on the trade block before the MLB trade deadline, not just players like Scherzer who hit the market after this season. This approach led to the trade of Justin Verlander back to the Houston Astros.
Verlander, who had signed with the Mets during the last offseason, did not complete his two-year deal as he was dealt to the Astros. In return, the Mets received top prospects Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford from Houston.
Seeking Clarity from Ownership
In response to Eppler’s explanation, Scherzer expressed a desire to hear the strategy directly from the team’s owner, Steve Cohen. Scherzer told The Athletic that Cohen gave him the same explanation as Eppler, confirming the Mets’ plans moving forward.
Scherzer’s agreement to be traded to the Rangers, who currently lead the AL West, was influenced by the Mets’ willingness to move players under contract for 2024 before the deadline. This revelation diverged from the vision held by players in the clubhouse.
The Future of the Mets
The news of the Mets’ plans has raised questions among fans. Will Shohei Ohtani be off-limits despite the expectation of Cohen’s aggressive pursuit this upcoming free agent period? What about Pete Alonso, one of the franchise’s key players, who is set to become a free agent after the 2024 season?
As Mets fans contemplate the team’s future, Scherzer’s statements have shed light on the front office’s mindset. The Mets will proceed with a different vision than expected, shifting their focus to the 2025-2026 seasons.
– Mets’ GM Billy Eppler denies being in rebuild mode despite trading Max Scherzer.
– Scherzer disagrees with Eppler’s vision and reveals that the Mets will not pursue top free agents during the offseason.
– Eppler explains that players eligible for free agency after 2024 were on the trade block before the deadline.
– Mets traded Justin Verlander back to the Astros as part of their strategy for the future.
– Mets’ owner Steve Cohen confirms the team’s plans align with Eppler’s explanation.