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Billy Eppler Suspended for Fabricating Player Injuries

Former Mets GM Billy Eppler was suspended through the 2024 World Series for directing the fabrication of player injuries, impacting roster spots and MLB integrity.

Key Takeaways
  • Billy Eppler, former Mets GM, was suspended through the 2024 World Series for fabricating player injuries.
  • The MLB investigation revealed the fabrication involved about seven players to create open roster spots.
  • No other Mets personnel were disciplined, and Eppler will not lose any salary despite the suspension.

The Suspension Announcement

Billy Eppler, the former New York Mets general manager, was suspended through the 2024 World Series by Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred. The decision came after an investigation concluded that Eppler directed team staff to fabricate player injuries to create open roster spots. This directive included the deliberate fabrication of injuries and the associated submission of incorrect documentation for securing multiple improper injured list placements during the 2022 and 2023 seasons​​​.

Background and Investigation Details

Billy Eppler served as the Mets general manager from November 2021 until his resignation on October 5, 2023, just as MLB’s investigation became public. This investigation, which interviewed more than three dozen people, revealed that about seven players were involved in this misconduct, although the players’ identities were not disclosed. MLB stated that this pattern of conduct was directed solely by Eppler, without any involvement from club ownership or superiors​.

The Use of the “Phantom Injured List”

The investigation highlighted the use of a so-called “phantom injured list,” a practice thought to be common across baseball but one that has not seen anyone disciplined until now. The players involved had an economic incentive to comply with the fabricated injured list stints, as it affected their salaries based on their placement​.

Financial Implications and Future Restrictions

Despite the suspension, Eppler will not lose any salary, as the Mets had already paid the remainder of his contract, which was set to run through the 2025 season, after his resignation. The suspension prevents Eppler from taking a job with another team until he is reinstated, although he will be allowed to apply for early reinstatement. No other Mets personnel were disciplined as a result of the investigation​.

Historical Context

This discipline is among the most significant by MLB since other major incidents, such as the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. It reflects MLB’s ongoing efforts to maintain the integrity of the sport and enforce its regulations strictly​.

Statement from the Mets

Following the conclusion of the investigation and the announcement of Eppler’s suspension, the New York Mets stated that they consider the matter closed. With David Stearns leading the Baseball Operations team following Eppler’s resignation, the organization has opted not to comment further on the issue​.