The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler in a move Sunday that comes after he hired Joe Maddon as the team's manager and locked in superstar Mike Trout to a 12-year, $426.5 million contract over the past 18 months.
The Angels were a disappointing 26-34 this season, extending their run of missing the playoffs to six seasons, while Trout won two of his three MVP awards during that stretch.
In five seasons with Eppler as the GM, the Angels did not have a winning record, going 332-376 over that stretch. The Angels also had three managers in those five seasons going from Mike Scioscia to Brad Ausmus to Maddon this season.
Eppler was fired with one year remaining on his contract. He entered the season without a deal beyond this year but his contract was extended through 2021 during the season.
Trout, widely considered the best player in baseball, has participated in just three playoff games in his 10-year career -- none under Eppler's watch. Trout still put in a good word for Eppler on Saturday, one day after the Angels were eliminated from playoff consideration with a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Billy was a big reason I signed back here," Trout said. "Billy and I have built a friendship over the years. He's put a lot of great teams together, and, obviously, it just didn't work out these last few years.
"The relationship and the friendship I've built with Billy goes beyond baseball now. I don't know what direction they're going to go or what's going to happen. I guess we'll see here in a couple of days."
The Angels' season came to an end Sunday after they fell 5-0 to the Dodgers. They were swept in their final series after winning six of seven games.
A name mentioned prominently with the new Angels opening is former Marlins, Tigers and Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. His personnel moves brought the Marlins a World Series title in 1997 and earned the Red Sox a championship in 2018. He also helped get the Tigers to the World Series in 2006 and 2012.
--Field Level Media