Former New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler has been suspended through the World Series for manipulating the injured list in his favor. Essentially, Eppler was using the IL as MLB’s version of load management.
As hilarious as that may seem — especially when you consider the Mets went just 75-87 last season — MLB takes the injured list rather seriously, as would any sport. Fabricating injuries to give players days off won’t be tolerated, as Eppler’s reasoning was (likely) to replenish the roster while said ‘injured’ player received time off.
The Mets don’t sound concerned with Eppler’s punishment, as the two sides parted ways this offseason. New York has since hired David Stearns — previously with the Milwaukee Brewers — as their general manager. Stearns had success building a contender in Milwaukee with limited resources.
“The Mets have been informed of the conclusion of Major League Baseball’s investigation. 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,” the team said in a statement.
No other members of the Mets organization or Eppler’s staff were implicated in this matter. Eppler, meanwhile, can pursue reinstatement prior to the World Series, though that seems unlikely given he hasn’t signed on with a new front office just yet.
In Eppler’s tenure, the Mets failed to reach their ultimate goal of winning a World Series. While their farm system did improve of late thanks to trades of Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, New York stocked up last winter in the hopes of making a deep playoff run. Instead, they struggled so badly in the first half of the season that Steve Cohen instructed his front office to trade off assets at the deadline.