Mets owner Steven Cohen announced on Tuesday that he would hold a press conference ahead of New York's game Wednesday night versus the Milwaukee Brewers. If comments made by general manager Billy Eppler are any indication, it does not appear that Cohen will be making personnel changes.
Instead, Eppler expressed confidence in the abilities of manager Buck Showalter and the Mets roster to turn the ship around before it's too late.
"Buck's had a good amount of adversity heaped his way. I think Buck's handled that adversity and he's the guy to get us back on track," Eppler said of his skipper. When he was asked if he felt if the Mets still had a playoff-caliber roster given their continued struggles this season, he added: "I believe in the talent of this team. I believe they can play at that win percentage."
The Mets enter Tuesday with a 35-43 record, good for fourth place in the National League East, thanks to a 6-16 start to June. They trail the Atlanta Braves by 16 games, and are 8 1/2 games back of the NL's third and final wild-card spot. Consider that if every other team in front of them goes .500 the rest of the way, the Mets would need to perform at roughly the same pace as a 95-win team (over a full season) to close the gap.
Naturally, then, there's been speculation about whether or not the Mets would consider trading away veterans this summer, as the team. Eppler does not appear to give up the ghost of New York making a serious run between now and the deadline.
"We've got a decent amount of runway before the deadline," he said Tuesday. "We hope that we can change the story. If we can, then we can add. If it doesn't, then we'll just have to create other opportunities and see what else exists out there."
The Mets, of course, have the highest payroll in baseball, at $344 million. The only other team within $100 million of that mark is the San Diego Padres.