The Los Angeles Angels have fired General Manager Billy Eppler, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). Eppler had one year remaining on his deal after the Angels gave him a one-year extension this past summer, notes The Athletic’s Dabian Ardaya.
The organization made many positive strides during Eppler’s tenure – namely twinning winning the bidding for two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani and signing all-time great Mike Trout to a long-term extension – but also a steady improvement of the organization’s farm system, writes Jeff Fletcher of the Orange-County Register. He also brought Andrelton Simmons into the organization via trade and signed Anthony Rendon to a big free agent deal this past winter. After one year with the Angels, Rendon has played the role the team expected of him. With Trout already on the roster and big money committed to recent free agent signings like Albert Pujols and Justin Upton, Eppler never got a clean slate in Los Angeles and had to do his best to rebuild the team on the fly. Despite paring back the team’s free agent spending, building the farm, and nailing a number of under-the-radar additions in recent seasons, the Angels never could build a pitching staff worthy of contention under Eppler’s watch.
Eppler was named General Manager of the Angels in October of 2015. They failed to make the playoffs over the 5-year span, however, having last made the postseason in 2014. Over those five seasons, the Angels went 332-375 for an overall .470 winning percentage. The team’s high-water mark during Eppler’s tenure were back-to-back 80-82 seasons in 2017 and 2018.
The Angels’ Twitter account announced the team’s decision with a statement from Angels’ President John Carpino: “The Angels Organization would like to thank Billy for his dedication and work ethic over the last five years. We wish him and his family all the best.”