Billy Eppler, the New York Mets general manager who abruptly stepped down, is being investigated by Major League Baseball.
ESPN, the New York Post, and other local media outlets cited sources as saying that Eppler is being investigated by Major League Baseball’s commissioner’s office.
Eppler abruptly stepped down as Mets president earlier in the day. It came three days after new president David Stearns took over.
“I want to give David a clean slate, which means I’m stepping down,” he said in a statement, adding that he was stepping down to empower the new president.
However, local media claims that the real reason for his resignation is a secretariat investigation.
Eppler is being investigated for so-called “fake ILs,” which is the misuse of the injured list for other purposes.
In the major leagues, players with no minor league options can only be sent down to the minors through the waiver process. A “designation for assignment” (DFA) is one way to do this.
In this situation, major league teams can place out-of-option players on the disabled list with a legitimate injury claim if they’ve fallen out of favor or have lost their spot in the lineup.
This is a win-win situation for both the team and the player. The team can keep the player without waivers, and the player is guaranteed service time and major league salary while on the disabled list.
So this “fake IL” was an open secret in the Major League Baseball industry. Eppler wasn’t the only one with the Mets.
ESPN reports that team executives don’t believe the fake ILs constitute “resignation-worthy misconduct,” but they’re taking the incident as a sign that the league office is willing to correct the practice.
The Mets have placed 25 players on the disabled list 28 times this season. That’s the 16th-most in the league. The San Francisco Giants have the most with 46.
Regardless, the Mets will enter next season under new leadership, with Buck Showalter and Eppler both leaving the organization.
The Mets entered the 2023 season with the most expensive payroll in Major League Baseball history, but only won 75 games. 레고토토