For all the money Eppler spent over the winter, the most productive thing he did was take out the trash. His composite grade is ordinary save for that fourth category, free agents lost. That category encompasses 10 players who either voluntarily left or were dismissed, then caught on with other teams and generally stunk.
Dominic Smith (-1.3), who has been an albatross in Washington, is one of those 10. Others include Chris Bassitt (-0.6 in Toronto) and Joely Rodriguez (-0.6 in Boston).
Here’s the first-half report card on the Eppler front office. Note that grades for players departing the organization are based on the reverse of those players’ WAAs with their new teams.
Mode WAA Grade
Acquired +0.3 C
Traded +1.2 D
Signed +1.3 B
FA Lost -1.9 B
Rookies -1.4 D
Overall +0.9 C
Eppler has made 40 personnel moves since the end of 2022 involving a player with 2023 major league experience. Those decisions have split slightly against him: 16 in Eppler’s favor, 18 against him and six neutral.
The data shows that despite New York’s present desultory record, Eppler has technically improved the talent base this season … just not by very much. Beyond that, as previously noted, that “improvement” involves players who have contributed to Eppler’s score by their absence rather than by their presence.
In fairness to Eppler, it should also be noted that the biggest failures on the Mets roster involve players signed previous to the 2023 offseason and, in several cases, prior to Eppler’s arrival. There are nine players on the current Mets roster whose deals were signed by Eppler’s predecessors, Sandy Alderson or Brody Van Wagenen. The collective impact of those nine players on the team’s 2003 standing is -1.7 WAA.