Now that 2015 is officially over, the Angels are wasting no time getting preparations for the 2016 season started. The team announced Sunday night that Billy Eppler will be taking over as general manager, with a press conference set for 1:00pm PST Monday.
Eppler was long viewed as the favorite for the position. The now-former Yankees assistant general manager was the runner-up to Jerry Dipoto the last time the Halos held GM interviews, and it seems none of the internal or external candidates this time around trumped that established standing with Arte Moreno and company.
Just what Eppler will bring to Anaheim is a bit of a mystery for those of us outside the interview room and New York’s front office—even Getty Images doesn’t know who he is, hence the photo above. The 40-year-old began his climb up the front-office ladder on the player development side of things, working as a scout for the Rockies from 2000-2004 before becoming the scouting director with the Yankees, so one presumes he’ll put a lot of focus on developing and expanding the club’s reach in that department. Whether the Angels continue to be absent on the international scouting front, for instance, should be something to follow.
Eppler probably didn’t spend several years as Brian Cashman’s right hand without also picking up knowledge of advanced stats and the like, but even if he’s big on numbers one imagines he’ll be more reticent to implement new strategies given how well that went for Jerry Dipoto.
For now, it’s all guesswork and tepid optimism. We’ll all hopefully know more once Eppler steps up to the mic at his press conference.