Billy Eppler spent 11 years working for the Yankees and Brian Cashman.
Now, they’re sharing the spotlight in New York, with Eppler running the Mets as their new general manager and Cashman still in that role in The Bronx.
It figures to be an unusual dynamic for two organizations that typically haven’t done many deals with each other. Eppler doesn’t necessarily believe that will change even with the familiarity between the two men.
In fact, it’s that familiarity that might prevent them from making many trades, since Eppler noted Friday in his introductory press conference that he and Cashman didn’t complete any deals while Eppler was GM of the Angels from 2016-20.
“I think it’s because we may have similar methodologies for evaluating players,’’ Eppler said. “I’m not expecting to do a lot of transactions [with Cashman].”
But there is — and will continue to be — regular dialogue between the two.
“We don’t go a week without talking to each other,’’ Eppler said. “He was a tremendous mentor to me. What I learned there, being there 11 years and having the success we did, was just the approach to the job. There were so many people there to learn from.”
Eppler on Friday twice mentioned the late Gene Michael, the longtime Yankee executive who is credited for helping turn the Yankees around in the 1990s.
“He was very instrumental in teaching me outside of traditional qualitative assessments,’’ Eppler said of Michael’s approach to scouting. “He taught how to evaluate a player based on concentration or focus [in addition to statistical analysis].”
But no one influenced him more than Cashman.
“Brian’s impact on me has been monumental,’’ Eppler said. “I take so much operational methodology from there and I’m looking forward to continue to evolve and grow.”
Cashman said he is confident he will.
“I was lucky to be surrounded by Billy Eppler for a long time,’’ Cashman said. “He impacted us in a really strong way, a real positive way. He’s a great baseball man, and I think the Mets secured a really high-end talent that will serve them well.”
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