ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday after the long-struggling franchise 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 seek new baseball leadership after missing the playoffs for a 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.
But Eppler was dismissed when the Angels couldn't even make the eight-team AL playoff field this month. Los Angeles 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 playing for manager Joe Maddon.
“Billy and I really, I thought, were great together,” Maddon said after the Angels ended their season with a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. “From the moment I met him, I thought to myself, ‘This is a straight-up guy. Absolutely straight-up.’ One of the most honest people I’ve met in this industry. Great talent evaluator."
“I’m certain he’s going to land firmly on his feet, but our friendship will endure, he and I. I really enjoyed our time together, and I told him so,” he said.
Eppler's Angels went 332-376 (.469) under three managers with a rotating cast of supporting players around Trout and Pujols. They've endured five straight losing seasons for the first time since 1977, and their winning percentage over the past two seasons is the Halos' worst two-year run since 1992-93.
Eppler didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.