Billy Eppler raves about internal returns that will help team down stretch: 'This team's got Jake'

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Billy Eppler told Carton and Roberts that while the Mets didn’t make any big splashes at the trade deadline, they felt they had made offers that could have brought in some bigger pieces, but they have no control over the asking price coming from other teams.

“We feel we made some compelling offers and put some players in play,” Eppler said. “Ultimately, it didn’t pan out. We weren’t willing to stretch into an area where we felt it was a bit reckless. Because everything we’re trying to do here is in service of long-term sustainability.”

So, what is the balance at a trade deadline? How did the Mets tiptoe the line of looking to make a push for a championship this year, while staying true to their desire to build for the future? Teams like the Padres unloaded the farm to make big-time splashes like Juan Soto and Josh Hader, but did the Mets prioritize winning now or being in position to contend in the long term?

“You can do both,” Eppler said. “I think that’s what we set out to achieve at this deadline…we were able to get the team stronger. This team is in a better place than it was a month ago, and this team’s got Jake. This team’s got Trevor May. This team’s got pieces that are gonna be able to come back and provide that level of impact.”

While the Mets weren’t motivated to move some of their more coveted prospects, they believe that the team has shown it is a contender while being shorthanded this season, and as some big-time contributors come back, they will represent bigger acquisitions than the ones some fans feel the team missed out on at the deadline.

“We’ve driven to this current record without Jake, and losing max for a sizeable chunk of the season…you bring [Tylor] Megill in, you bring [Drew] Smith in,” Eppler said. We’ve got pieces internally to position us for whatever the rest of the season can bring. We have a lefty starter in Peterson who has a 51 percent swing and miss rate on his slider…that’s the 97th percentile in baseball on swing and miss sliders from a left-handed starter, who throws 96. Can he be an option later? Maybe.

“There are good players here, and they have driven us to this record that we’re sitting on right now. I feel good about them.”

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