Angels moving on from general manager Eppler

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The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday, moments after the team concluded its fifth consecutive losing season.

The firing surprisingly comes with one year left on Eppler’s deal; the Angels quietly extended Eppler through the 2021 season over the summer, a source confirmed to ESPN. Eppler, who finished his fifth season with the organization, was on an expiring contract when the year began.

In a statement, Angels president John Carpino said: “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.”

The Angels finished the shortened 2020 season with a 26-34 record, a major disappointment for a team that carried a lot of hype after the hiring of manager Joe Maddon and the signing of third baseman Anthony Rendon.

Eppler played a lead role in recruiting Shohei Ohtani, was a big reason Mike Trout decided to spend basically his entire career with the Angels and took steps to rebuild the farm system. He added high-ceiling talent such as Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh. But Eppler consistently came up short addressing the pitching staff.

The manager he appointed in 2019, Brad Ausmus, lasted only one season.

Decorated executive Dave Dombrowski has been rumored inside and outside of baseball to be his successor.

The Angels have made the playoffs only once since 2012, even though Trout has been arguably the game’s greatest player. The team went 80-82 in back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018, Mike Scioscia’s last two years with the organization, then lost 90 games in 2019 — a season marked by the sudden death of young starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs from a drug overdose.

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