MLB has announced today that former New York Mets General Manager Billy Eppler has been placed on the Ineligible List through the 2024 World Series due to a “pattern of conduct” in violating MLB’s rules regarding the injured list, including “the deliberate fabrication of injuries.”
Eppler was the general manager of the Mets from November, 2021, through October 2023. Prior to that, he had been the general manager of the Los Angeles Angels from 2015 through 2020, and was an assistant general manager with the New York Yankees prior to that.
Eppler resigned from his position with the Mets in October, seemingly at least in part due to his being under investigation by MLB for injury list abuse, though the Mets had also just hired David Stearns to be president of baseball operations, so Eppler may not have been long for the Mets anyway.
One’s initial reaction to this is, well, every team in baseball plays games with the injured list, so why single out the Mets and Eppler? MLB changed the rules to provide for pitchers to have to be on the injured list for 15 days, rather than 10 days, so that teams couldn’t shuffle guys on and off the list to effectively have a larger roster.
One would have to assume, however, as was the case with the Atlanta Braves and former general manager John Coppolella, the abuse of the system was so great that MLB felt they had to act. And as with Coppolella, it may be that MLB hopes that, by making an example of Eppler, they will discourage the rest of the league from this sort of behavior.
The full release is below: