LAS VEGAS — Eric Jagers’ strong background in biomechanics and movement science stood out as the Mets considered him for a top development position.
The 27-year-old Jagers, who spent the last two seasons as Reds assistant pitching coach, has joined the Mets as their director of pitching development, general manager Billy Eppler said Tuesday at the GM Meetings.
Jagers will oversee the Mets’ minor league pitchers, working in conjunction with major league pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.
Before his Reds stint, Jagers worked for Driveline Baseball, a performance center that uses research and advanced data to help players.
“What we’re trying to do — regardless of this hire or any hire — is really serve the players,” Eppler said. “You just want to be able to answer every question, so if a player has questions you want to have them talk to somebody from a technical expertise and maybe from a psychological expertise. If we can really have that diversity of thought we should be able to serve the players for what they need.”
Hefner had a large say in hiring Jagers, according to Eppler.
“[Hefner] actually went through all the interviews for all the candidates,” Eppler said. “We’re really happy to get Eric on board and watch him kind of implement his vision and give him all the tools and latitude, and the synchronicity he had with Jeremy Hefner was a major factor in him getting this job.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman — who could be in the market for a closer — was asked about his surprise level that the Mets completed a deal so quickly with Edwin Diaz, who agreed to a five-year contract worth $102 million before hitting free agency.
“I made the assumption all year long they were going to retain their guy, but you never know,” Cashman said. “He had a hell of a year, an amazing season that he put together and that trumpet is pretty awesome, too.”
Eppler won’t discuss the Diaz deal until it becomes official. Diaz was expected to take a physical on Tuesday.
Eppler acted quickly to fill many of the Mets’ needs last offseason with a lockout looming, but realizes he could be in store for a marathon this winter.
“If anybody wants to turn this into NBA free agency or NFL free agency I am all for it,” Eppler said