Who is Billy Eppler, the former MLB GM who was suspended after sustaining injuries?

In a shocking twist this off-season, former New York Mets GM Billy Eppler has been suspended from baseball by commissioner Rob Manfred until the 2024 World Series. The ban stemmed from allegations that Eppler orchestrated the fabrication of injuries to manipulate roster spots.

According to Manfred’s statement, Eppler is accused of intentionally fabricating injuries and submitting questionable documents for improper injured list placement in the 2022 and 2023 seasons. It appears that MLB is using the executive as an example because the phantom injury list is something that many teams take advantage of as hushed whispers suggest.

Billy Eppler (Credits – X)

Now a question arises, Billy Eppler has been in the baseball business scene for quite some time. What is the story behind an executive being chosen as a sacrificial lamb after an anonymous tip blew the whistle on him?

Billy Eppler’s early career as a scout

Billy Eppler’s journey from finance graduate to baseball storm center is quite the story. According to baseball-reference.com, Eppler’s career in baseball began in 2000 when he became a scout for the Colorado Rockies in the MLB.

After the 2004 season, he transitioned to the New York Yankees, working as a scout in their Tampa office under Mark Newman and Damon Oppenheimer. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was in charge of restructuring the front office after the 2005 season. The reorganization included the creation of a professional scouting department, and Eppler was promoted to its director.

In his new role, Eppler and his team were responsible for scouting acquisitions. This led to notable signings such as Bartolo Colon and Eric Chave among many others. Upon that, he was promoted to assistant general manager during the 2011–12 offseason.

Billy Eppler’s career as a general manager

In 2011, Billy Eppler interviewed for the General Manager position with the Halos, but was narrowly missed out for the role, which was eventually filled by Jerry Dipoto. He also pursued a similar opportunity with the San Diego Padres but was not selected.

After Jerry Dipoto resigned after the 2015 season, Eppler once again interviewed for the Angels’ general manager position. This time, he secured the role and signed a four-year contract starting on 4 October. During his tenure, Eppler built the team around star player Mike Trout. He also brought in incredible players like Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton.

Billy Eppler (Credits - X)
Billy Eppler (Credits – X)

However, following the 2020 season, the team recorded its fifth consecutive losing record under Eppler. The owner of the Angels, Arte Moreno, decided to part ways with him. Then on November 18, 2021, the New York Mets hired Eppler as their general manager, securing his services with a four-year contract. In 2022, the team made its first playoff appearance after a 6-year drought, with Eppler at the helm of the front office.

However, they did not make the playoffs the following season and finished fourth in the regular season. The executive resigned on October 5th, 2023 after the scandal came to light and the rest is history.

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