Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Friday that former New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler is ineligible for the entirety of the 2024 season. The one-year ban is a result of Eppler violating injury list rules during the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
He will be eligible to return to MLB following the 2024 World Series. He could also seek an earlier reinstatement at the approval of Manfred.
During MLB’s investigation, the league determined that Eppler improperly used the league’s injury list and also completely fabricated injuries — with documentation — so the team could secure improper injury list placements during his two years as the team’s general manager.
Eppler surprisingly stepped away from the team following the 2023 season after it was believed he was going to continue to serve as the team’s GM under David Stearns, the team’s new president of baseball operations.
The league’s investigation into Eppler’s actions is what resulted in his sudden departure.
MLB concluded that Eppler acted on his own and without input from ownership or anyone else in the Mets’ organization.
By manipulating the injury lists, the Mets were able to retain control of players they may have otherwise lost to other teams.
The Mets won 101 games during Eppler’s first season as general manager, and then had an embarrassingly disappointing 2023 campaign. Despite having a payroll over $374 million the Mets finished in fourth place in the National League East and fell well short of the playoffs. Even worse, that payroll resulted in them getting hit with a record luxury tax (over $101 million) bringing the total cost of their fourth place to finish to nearly $475 million for the year.