I was wondering about this. Did he really do anything 29 other teams don't also do every year, or did he just do it to the wrong guy and got caught? What the Thosar tweet implies is that the players would like to see all the other teams who do it be held accountable too. Seems like more of a fine offense than a suspension offense - convenient to suspend someone who was probably only going to work as a special assistant or consultant this year anyway, and not punish the team that benefitted from the infraction at all.
It’s still not clear which specific players were involved or what the details of the transgressions were. A “phantom IL” placement has been sort of an open secret in baseball for years. If a player is struggling but cannot be sent to the minors due to being out of options or having more than five years of service time, then a club may place him on the injured list with some sort of nebulous injury such as “neck stiffness” or “back tightness”, then send him on a rehab assignment to get some work in the minors and try to get things back on track.
Deesha Thosar of Fox Sports relays that she spoke to various players about the issue who agreed that “every team does it” and expressed confusion as to why Eppler was being singled out. To this point, it’s unclear if the practice was taken to some unprecedented level or if this is the start of the league planning a bigger crackdown on the practice league-wide.
Per Joel Sherman and Dan Martin of The New York Post, the league was tipped off to the practice with the Mets via an anonymous letter, so it’s possible that the club simply got caught in a way that the league felt had to be addressed.