In October of 2023, New York Mets General Manager Billy Eppler — who had held his job for two years — resigned from the organization with two years remaining on his contract. At the time, The Athletic and other media outlets reported that his resignation stemmed from a league investigation of improper behavior — something to do with lists of injured players. Now, more details have emerged, both about what Eppler did and how the league will respond.
On Friday, ESPN reported that Major League Baseball had suspended Eppler through the conclusion of this year’s World Series. A statement from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred implicated Eppler in “the deliberate fabrication of injuries” during the 2022 and 2023 seasons — the goal being, apparently, creating more open roster space for the Mets.
ESPN reported that a statement from Eppler indicated that he’d cooperated with the league’s investigation. His former club addressed the league’s decision in a statement as well: “With Billy Eppler’s resignation on October 5, 2023, and with David Stearns leading the Baseball Operations team, the Mets consider the matter closed and will have no further comment.”
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In an analysis of the league’s punishment of Eppler, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal pointed out that the practice for which Eppler was suspended is believed to be significantly more widespread. “The commissioner wanted to set an example, and Eppler made for an easy target,” Rosenthal wrote. Which begs the question: will this response to team roster manipulation lead to widespread change — or will another executive receive a much harsher punishment in the near future?