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Don't expect former Yankees exec/new Mets general manager Billy Eppler to do all that much business with the Yankees

Billy Eppler answers questions during a press conference

Billy Eppler answers questions during a press conference on December 14, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Credit: Getty Images/Jayne Kamin-Oncea

The Mets have needs. The Yankees have needs.

The Mets just hired a new general manager in Billy Eppler who learned his craft in the Yankees' organization for 11 years under Brian Cashman. After being hired as a scout by the Yankees, he was their director of professional scouting from 2006-11 and an assistant GM under Cashman from 2012-14.

So can we expect a flurry of trades now between the two rivals?

Probably not.

Eppler, who was introduced by the Mets on Friday, said he talks to Cashman once a week. He also pointed out that the Yankees and Angels completed a total of zero trades during the five years he was the GM in Anaheim.

"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."

But that apparently isn’t going to translate into trades, Eppler said, perhaps because he and Cashman know each other too well.

"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 the Yankees]."

Eppler’s introductory Zoom conference had a Yankees flavor throughout. From his relationship with Cashman to his crediting the late Gene Michael as one of his mentors to saying the Yankees’ 2009 World Series championship was one of his proudest moments, you almost expected to see a wall of pinstripes behind the grinning Eppler.

But don’t worry — he bleeds blue and orange now.

"To the Met fans: man, I cannot wait to connect with you in person," Eppler said. "I'll take you back to my first game seeing the Mets in 2005 at Shea Stadium. It was my first exposure in person. I felt your passion. I witnessed the electricity of the environment. And I'm sitting in the scout seats behind home plate and I'm looking around the stadium and thinking to myself, ‘This is what a baseball game was intended to look like.’

"Just know that I look at the role of our baseball operations department as one to serve you. We realize that we have a duty and an obligation to you and we will take that seriously.

"As far as our vision for the Mets' organization moving forward, we want to build and drive a culture that promotes an inclusive and collaborative environment that is defined by high operational standards. I just want to reiterate that, again, I'm thrilled to be here because along with the 2009 World Series championship, this is a career highlight for me."

The Yankees and Mets don’t do much business, but Cashman and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner did offer glowing public reviews of Eppler.

On Thursday, the day the Mets made Eppler’s hiring official, Cashman said: "He’s really good, in my opinion. I got a chance to work alongside him for quite some time.

"A lot of people look at the general managers as the figureheads, and I’ve been the figurehead here for quite some time, but I’ve been [good] at staying [in] power because it’s really baseball ops that are the people you surround yourself with. I was lucky to have been surrounded with Billy Eppler for a long time. He impacted us in a really big way and in a real positive way.

"He’s a great baseball man and I think that the Mets secured a really high-end talent. He’ll serve them well and I’m sure he’ll hire well. So nothing but congrats to him and congrats to the Mets."

Presumably Cashman and Steinbrenner said the same things in private when the Mets were vetting Eppler.

"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."

Of Michael, the former Yankees manager and GM, Eppler said: "He was very instrumental in teaching me outside of traditional qualitative assessments. He taught me how to evaluate a player."

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