Former New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler has been suspended for the entire 2024 season, Major League Baseball announced after an investigation found that he fabricated injuries to illegally open up roster spots.
While he was placed on the ineligible list, no other team employee or member was named in the report, meaning the organization itself avoids any punishment.
Eppler resigned as general manager in early October just days after David Stearns was named and introduced as the team’s president of baseball operations.
“The Mets have been informed of the conclusion of Major League Baseball’s investigation,” a team statement read. “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.”
MLB was tipped off by an anonymous letter from someone within the club’s ranks, which helped reveal that Eppler had lied about the injury status of up to a dozen players, according to a report by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
New York ranked 14th in the majors in time lost to the injured list last season with 1,611, more than 800 days fewer than the MLB-leading Los Angeles Angels.
The 48-year-old executive, who also spent time as GM of the Angels and was the man to sign Shohei Ohtani, was at the helm of the Mets’ front office for two seasons — one of which saw him help build a 101-win club that made the postseason for the first time since 2016.
He brought in the likes of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer but also traded them away to help rebuild New York’s farm system at the 2023 trade deadline after the team decided to punt on the remainder of the campaign amidst a disastrous start.