Some were intrigued by it, as Eppler has worked in a New York front office before, as an assistant General Manager for the New York Yankees from 2012 to 2014. Some were intrigued because they remember him inking Shohei Ohtani to a deal with the Angels. That one has certainly worked out for the club.
Some, however, remembered his failures to land quality starting pitching throughout his entire tenure with the Angels organization. At times, it appeared that he was just banking on the pitching getting magically better while he works on other areas of the roster. Of course, many speculate that this was mostly due to Arte Moreno being cheap when it comes to pitching, but Eppler faced scrutiny in Anaheim as well, and was obviously let go in 2020.
So far in his early tenure with the Mets, it looks like he may have learned from some of his past failures with the Angels up to this point.
Billy Eppler has so far done what he failed to do with the LA Angels.
Billy Eppler went from not being able to land good starting pitching for the LA Angels, to stealing their No. 1 starting pitching free agent target in Max Scherzer. He acquired Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha, and Starling Marte, which Angels fans probably aren't surprised about. Eppler wasn't often opposed to signing position players to big deals, so it's no surprise he was aggressive there.
But very few were expecting him to follow that up by dropping $130 million over three years for a Scherzer who wanted to be on the west coast. That wasn't the most typical move of Eppler.
What it could show, however, is that Moreno was possibly not giving him enough resources to succeed here. Moreno is worth $3.6 billion and owns an LA franchise, yet didn't spend more than the ninth-most in baseball in Eppler's last couple years with the team. In fact, the Angels 2020 payroll was 13th in MLB for Eppler's last year.
Mets new owner Steve Cohen is far richer than Moreno, which shows how much he can give Eppler to spend, and so far certainly has provided Eppler with more than plentiful resources. Cohen has let Eppler get over $235 million in 2022 payroll so far this offseason, which is over $21 million than the second-place Dodgers.
It's early in his tenure, but so far Eppler has received a bounty of resources from his owner, and is willing to spend on both facets of the game.