Sports

Mets owner Steve Cohen says Buck Showalter, GM jobs safe for 2023

Earlier this week, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen announced he would hold a press conference amid the team’s disappointing start to the season.

Cohen spent a record amount in payroll to build the roster, but so far his investment has resulted in a 36-43 record. A roster that added Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Brandon Nimmo, Jose Quintana and others this offseason was expected to contend for a National League pennant.

The Mets issues were compounded when star closer Edwin Diaz was hurt during the World Baseball Classic, and Verlander has only appeared in 10 games so far due to injury. Meanwhile, ace pitcher Max Scherzer has not been quite as sharp this season.

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen speaks during a press conference

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen speaks at a press conference prior to the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on June 28, 2023, in New York City. (Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

The slow start has fueled speculation that manager Buck Showalter and general manager Billy Eppler could be in jeopardy of losing their respective jobs.

But earlier this week, Eppler publicly supported Showalter. On Wednesday, Cohen said he remained committed to his team’s manager and general manager.

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The billionaire owner said Showalter and Eppler would “absolutely” stay in place throughout the 2023 MLB season — at the very least.

Cohen did mention that his search for a president of baseball operations remains in full swing, saying that “at some point we will fill that position.” When the president of baseball operations in named, they would likely operate as the baseball decision-maker and superseded the general manager.

New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler

New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Cohen clarified that while the president of baseball operations would outrank Eppler, the relationship between to the two would largely be collaborative.

The Mets currently sit in fourth place in the National League East, trailing the first-place Atlanta Braves by 16.5 games as of Wednesday evening.

Buck Showalter and Francisco Lindor

New York Mets manager Buck Showalter, left, celebrates with Francisco Lindor after a game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, May 12, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Cohen is aware that the August trade deadline is looming and hinted that he would be willing to make some changes to the roster.

“I’m preparing my management team for all possibilities. If they don’t get better, we have decisions to make at the trade deadline. That’s not my preferred end result. We’re preparing all contingencies,” he said.

The Mets only managed to win seven of their first 23 games in June.

But Cohen seemed to have a somewhat positive outlook about the remainder of the season.

“All is not lost yet, but it’s getting late,” he said.

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