Former New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler has been suspended through the 2024 World Series after being found to have fabricated injuries to create open roster sports during his tenure, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Friday (February 9).
Eppler, 48, was placed on the league's Ineligible List effective immediately due to "improper use of Injured List placements, including the deliberate fabrication of injuries; and the associated submission of documentation for the purposes of securing multiple improper Injured List placements during the 2022 and 2023 seasons," Manfred said in a statement obtained by USA TODAY. The former general manager, who gave his surprising resignation in October, is reported to have acted on his own as he didn't receive orders to do so from the team, while no Mets medical or athletic training personnel were mentioned in the report.
"The Mets have been informed of the conclusion of Major League Baseball’s investigation," the team said in a statement shared by MLB.com. "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."
Eppler's October resignation came three days after president of baseball operations David Stearns publicly gave his endorsement during his exit press conference. Stearns had previously said he was "looking forward to working with" Eppler, who he expected to remain with the franchise prior to his decision to step down, which was then followed by reports of an investigation into his tenure.
Eppler was hired by the Mets in November 2021 shortly after the team fired then-acting general manager Zack Scott, who was placed on administrative leave following a DWI arrest less than three months prior. The 48-year-old had previously worked as a scout prior to his tenure as assistant general manager for the New York Yankees (2012-14) and general manager for the Los Angeles Angels (2015-2020).
The Mets went 101-61 before being eliminated in the Wild Card round in 2022 and finished fourth in the National League East Division standings, despite spending $424,166,666 during the previous offseason, according to Front Office Sports.