New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, as promised, spoke candidly on Wednesday about his playoff hopefuls entering Wednesday’s list with a 36-43 record on the season, making them one of the biggest disappointments in the season. majors this year.
The question on everyone’s mind was the status of the positions of manager Buck Showalter and general manager Billy Eppler. Eppler on Tuesday, and Cohen reinforced that promise during Wednesday’s press by saying that both Showalter and Eppler would at least “absolutely” end the 2023 season. Cohen emphasized that he wanted to stay away from erratic or reactionary decision-making, as top-down stability in an organization is essential to attracting and retaining quality employees. This should put an end to speculation about Showalter and Eppler’s job security, at least until the off-season.
That said, the duo may have a new boss at some point. Cohen emphasized to the presser that he is still seeking a president of baseball operations (in addition to a team president/CEO) and that “we will fill that position at some point.” Under the front office structure that prevails today, the president of baseball operations is the lead baseball decision maker and operates above the general manager. Cohen emphasized that the working relationship would be a partnership with Eppler, but he also affirmed that the president of baseball operations would be Eppler’s superior.
Cohen also spoke about the team’s current difficulties facing the August trade deadline. New York is in fourth place, some 16 games behind the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves. If the playoffs started today, the Mets would miss out on the postseason by a whopping 8 1/2 games. According to SportsLine’s forecast, postseason odds are down to 22%. (Other projection systems have them even lower, suggesting the odds are no longer in their favor.)
“If we don’t get better,” Cohen said Wednesday, “we have to make decisions by the deadline.”
Those decisions may include selling what they can or staying stable rather than assuming buyer status, which was the working assumption for the Mets’ deadline approach under Cohen. The problem is that Mets. One way to change that is to take over much of the remaining salary commitments of departing players, and Cohen implied a willingness to do so in the event of a hypothetical sales deadline.
All this, to say the least, is not what anyone expected from this Mets team. After all, a few winters of heavy spending have positioned the Mets with the highest payroll of the majors, at $344 million, according to Spotrac. Only one other club, the San Diego Padres, is within $100 million. Nevertheless, the Mets had a terrible June winning just seven of their first 23 games. Or, as Cohen said at one point on Wednesday, “All is not lost, but it’s getting late.”