Days after the Mets named David Stearns president of baseball operations in the hope that he’ll be able to turn owner Steve Cohen’s $350 million disaster into a playoff team, New York general manager Billy Eppler resigned amid an investigation by Major League Baseball. Eppler, who spent the past two seasons running baseball operations, is being investigated for improper uses of the injured list during the 2023 season, according to The New York Post.
“Billy Eppler led this team through a 101-win season and postseason berth last year and he will be missed,” Cohen said in a release. “We accepted Billy’s resignation today as he decided it is in everyone’s best interest to fully hand over the leadership of baseball operations to David Stearns. On behalf of the Mets organization, we wish him all the best.”
MLB was tipped off to the alleged infraction by an anonymous letter, and when Eppler was informed of the probe, he opted to resign rather than pollute the early days of the Stearns administration with extra drama.
“I wanted David to have a clean slate and that meant me stepping down,” Eppler said. “I hope for nothing but the best for the entire Mets organization.”
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Eppler is now the third general manager in a row to depart the Mets amid shaky circumstances; his predecessors, Jared Porter and Zack Scott, were both fired for off-the-field issues. Porter was found to have previously sent unwanted sexts to a female journalist while working for the Chicago Cubs, and Scott was arrested on drunk-driving charges after he took over as GM. He was later acquitted.
Eppler’s infraction, if it did indeed take place, was at least done with the team in mind. “Stashing healthy players on the IL can aid a team competitively,” according to The Post. “Designating healthy players as injured can enable clubs to keep those players under team control rather than risk losing them to other organizations.”
At this point, it’s hard to say which players on New York’s roster other teams would actually want as the Mets vastly underperformed in the 2023 season despite the team’s record-setting payroll.
The Mets won’t be taking part in the divisional round of the MLB playoffs, but it begins tomorrow in Baltimore, Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles with the (5) Rangers at the (1) Orioles, the (3) Twins at the (2) Astros, the (4) Phillies at (1) the Braves and the (6) Diamondbacks at the (2) Dodgers.