In the final hours of the 2020 MLB season, the Angels announced that they dismissed general manager Billy Eppler. It was a move expected for weeks, as the Angels once again missed the playoffs despite having a generational star in his prime and the field including 16 teams this year.
The Angels released the following statement:
"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."
Eppler took over as Angels' general manager after the 2015 season. There were zero playoff appearances in his tenure and there actually wasn't even a winning season. The best record under Eppler was 80-82, which happened in both 2017 and 2018.
The job opening should be an attractive one, with an owner known to be OK with spending big in free agency and to extend his stars. Under Eppler, the Angels signed Anthony Rendon to a seven-year, $245 million deal last winter and they gave Mike Trout a 12-year, $426.5 million extension in 2019.
With Trout and Rendon, there's a great foundation in place, but Eppler couldn't really find the right mix around his superstars. That task now goes to someone else.
Speaking of which, CBS Sports' R.J. Anderson reported weeks ago that ex-Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski and ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow have been speculated as candidates to be offered the job, assuming it came open. It has now come open.
Dombrowski, 64, has World Series titles under his belt in the 1997 Marlins and 2018 Red Sox. He also built the pennant-winning Tigers group from last decade.
Luhnow, 54, was the architect of the Astros group that was among the best teams in baseball from 2017-19, winning two pennants and one World Series. Of course, he was suspended for the entire 2020 season due to Houston's sign-stealing scandal. He was fired by the Astros once that news broke.