ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday after the team finished its fifth consecutive losing season under his watch.
Eppler was under contract for one more year with the Angels in an extension he signed in July with no public announcement, but team president John Carpino said the franchise will move forward with new baseball leadership after missing the playoffs for the sixth straight year.
The Angels have endured a historically bad half-decade during Eppler’s tenure despite many positive moves made by the former New York Yankees executive, all while dealing with the spending whims of owner Arte Moreno.
The Angels finished 26-34 in the pandemic-shortened season with a star-studded roster including three-time AL MVP Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani.
Eppler took the fall for a decade of mostly miserable baseball under Moreno, whose penchant for handing out big-money contracts to older veteran players has repeatedly hurt his club since its last playoff victory in 2009.
Eppler rebuilt a farm system that was left barren by former GM Jerry Dipoto, and he both signed Trout to a massive contract extension and persuaded Ohtani to bring his two-way talents to the Angels.
Yet Eppler never managed to sign enough quality pitchers to prevent Trout’s Angels from being a perennial also-ran. Eppler repeatedly guessed wrong in his signings from Matt Harvey to Julio Teheran, leaving the Angels with one of the majors’ worst starting rotations for much of his tenure.
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