New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler has resigned from his post just three days after the arrival of president of baseball operations, David Stearns, the team announced on Thursday afternoon.
“I wanted David to have a clean slate and that meant me stepping down,” Eppler said in a statement. “I hope for nothing but the best for the entire Mets organization.”
Eppler spent two seasons with the Mets, providing some stability at the position after a tumultuous stretch that saw Jared Porter fired less than two months on the job after it was revealed he sent sexually explicit text messages and images to a female reporter in 2016 while working with the Chicago Cubs.
His replacement, Zack Scott, was let go after he was arrested for drunk driving, forcing then-74-year-old Sandy Alderson to run baseball operations under owner Steve Cohen.
Eppler, the former general manager of the Los Angeles Angels who most notably signed Shohei Ohtani, helped build a 101-win team in his first season at the helm in 2022, though New York would lose to the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series.
But a roster full of holes — notably the bullpen and the failed DH experiment of Darin Ruf and Daniel Vogelbach — ultimately saw a top-heavy unit nosedive in 2023. The Mets were out of contention by July and Eppler helped orchestrate an aggressive firesale that restocked a thin farm system. By trading away Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, David Robertson, Tommy Pham, and Mark Canha, New York came away with a haul of promising youngsters, including their top-two-ranked prospects in Luisangel Acuna and Drew Gilbert.
“Billy Eppler led this team through a 101-win season and postseason berth last year and he will be missed,” Cohen said. “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.”
Eppler was slated to work under Stearns in New York’s front office — and it certainly appeared that Stearns was prepared to create a relationship with the GM.
“I’m looking forward to working with Billy,” Stearns said at his introductory press conference on Monday. “I think it’s going to take us frankly, weeks and months… to truly understand what that breakdown of responsibilities will be where we can all use our best skillsets to help the organization.”
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