Billy Eppler details Mets recruitment of Justin Verlander: 'This guy is committed to winning'


Mets GM Billy Eppler didn’t have to tiptoe around questions related to Justin Verlander on Wednesday, as he was able to finally made the massive contract official.

“Excited to get that deal done,” Eppler said. “I know it gets a little awkward dodging it for a while until everything is complete, but extremely excited to have Justin, a pitcher as decorated and accomplished as he is, in the front end of the rotation.

“It gives us quite a 1-2 punch. We’ll continue to add to that, but having Justin here was a very important step for us to get that ace-caliber pitcher in here. I’m really thankful for the commitment from Steve and Alex Cohen to support that and allow us to make those kind of moves.”

Eppler broke down the recruiting process to reporters at the Winter Meetings, making it clear that Verlander had plenty of interest in learning the Mets’ plan to compete in the short term, and gauge the team’s commitment to winning and improving upon last year’s 101-win season.

“We did a couple of Zooms, went through an initial one and went through one that was a little bit deeper, where he wanted to ask some more details about the organization and how we operate,” Eppler said. “He wanted to ask me how I thought we’d fill out the roster a little bit or what some of the ideas were. This guy is committed to winning. Very excited to have him.”

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