Billy Eppler quit as New York Mets general manager Thursday, three days after David Stearns was hired above him as the team's first president of baseball operations.
Eppler's decision continues an overhaul that followed a fourth-place NL East finish for a team with World Series expectations. Owner Steve Cohen fired manager Buck Showalter on Sunday, saying Stearns deserved to bring in his own manager.
"I wanted David to have a clean slate and that meant me stepping down," Eppler said in a statement released by the team.
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Cohen had long talked about hiring a president of baseball operations above Eppler and had said baseball operations leadership had become too large a job for one person. Eppler attended the Monday news conference at Citi Field to introduce Stearns, who had discussed working in tandem with Eppler.
"He decided it is in everyone's best interest to fully hand over the leadership of baseball operations to David Stearns," Cohen said in a statement.
The 48-year-Eppler worked in scouting and player development for the Colorado Rockies from 2000-04, then joined the the New York Yankees. He was director of professional scouting from 2006-11 and an assistant GM under Brian Cashman from 2012-14.
Eppler became GM of the Los Angeles Angels from 2015-20, then was fired after five losing seasons. The Mets gave him a four-year contract in November 2021 to become their fifth head of baseball operations in 13 months.
He signed ace Max Scherzer and outfielder Starling Marte among his first moves, and the Mets went 101-61 in 2022. While they led the NL East for all but six days, they fell from first at the season's end and lost to San Diego in the NL Wild Card Series.
New York boosted payroll to a major league record $355 million at the start of the 2023 season, adding pitchers Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga and José Quintana, but faded by midsummer, traded veterans and finished 75-87.