The New York Mets, who were the highest-paid team in Major League history ($355 million as of the start of the season), but failed to even come close to the postseason, are facing a harsh blow. Following the resignation of coach Buck Showalter ahead of the final game of the season, general manager Billy Eppler also resigned from his position. However, there was a reason other than poor performance.
The Mets announced General Manager Eppler’s resignation on the 6th (Korean time). David Stearns, the newly appointed President of Baseball Operations after the season, officially took office on the 3rd and was expected to accompany General Manager Eppler, but he resigned three days later, raising questions.
General Manager Eppler, who resigned from his position with two years remaining in his four-year contract, said, “President Stearns wanted a clean fresh start, and that meant I was stepping down. “I just wish the entire Mets organization the best,” he said, explaining his reason for resigning.
Mets owner Steve Cohen said, “I accepted Eppler’s resignation because I believed it was best for everyone to completely hand over leadership of baseball operations to President Stearns. “On behalf of the Mets, we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” he said.
Previously, General Manager Eppler, who served as general manager of the Los Angeles Angels from 2015 to 2020, recruited Japanese superstars Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon as free agents, and signed Mike Trout to the highest-ever contract (12 years, $426.5 million). General Manager Eppler, who moved to the Mets in 2022 after being fired from the Angels due to poor performance, led the team into fall baseball through aggressive investments, including recruiting Max Scherzer.
This year, they continued to strengthen their power by recruiting Justin Verlander and Senga Kodai, but their performance was far below expectations, ranking 4th in the National League East Division (75 wins, 87 losses, .463 winning percentage). After the season, Cohen’s position was narrowed as he hired former Milwaukee Brewers President Stearns as the top front office manager, and following Coach Showalter, he appeared to be stepping down due to poor performance.
However, the real reason why Director Eppler stepped down was different. ‘ESPN’ reported that ‘General Manager Eppler resigned due to an investigation into the Major League Baseball office’s use of the so-called phantom injury list.’ According to this, General Manager Eppler persuaded players who were not sick with fake injuries and placed them on the injured list, then put other players on the roster to use them.
In order to send a player without a minor option to the minor league, you must go through the transfer designation (DFA) process, and if another team claims during this process, the player will be lost. If you place a player on the injured list, you can retain the player and use other players. While a player is on the injured list, he or she is guaranteed service time, major league salary, and a spot on the 40-man roster, so there is nothing wrong with that as long as he or she does not leave the team.
The Mets have had 25 players on the injured list 28 times this year. It ranks 16th overall in the league, which is average. Multiple officials said, “We do not believe that the ghost injured list is an illegal act worthy of resignation,” but expressed the opinion that it would have the effect of preventing trickery at the league level. In the past, the Major League Secretariat investigated related issues, but it was not specifically confirmed whether punishment would result. 안전놀이터
With this, the cruel story of the Mets general manager has been written once again. In January 2021, Mets general manager Jared Porter was fired 38 days after taking office due to allegations of sexual harassment by a former female reporter. After taking office, General Manager Porter recruited All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor through a trade, but resigned from his position in 2016 after it was revealed that he had committed sexual harassment by sending obscene texts and photos to a foreign journalist while he was scouting director for the Chicago Cubs.
Afterwards, the Mets played the season under acting general manager Jack Scott, who was assistant general manager. However, Deputy Scott was also arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in September of that year. He was discovered by the police after falling asleep while intoxicated while waiting for a signal, and reportedly refused to take a breathalyzer test. Acting Director Scott, who was excluded from work after the truth was revealed, was eventually fired in November. Although he was found not guilty in January of the following year, he was unable to pick up the spilled water.