Welcome to the Eppler Era

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Billy Eppler was hired as the Angels general manager on October 4, 2015, following the collapse of the relationship between manager Mike Scioscia and former general manager Jerry DiPoto the preceding summer. It's barely been a month since his hiring, but one thing is quite clear: There is a lot of change going on in Anaheim.

  • Front Office Changes
  • Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais, hired by DiPoto, follows Jerry to Seattle to become the Mariners' new manager. With him, he takes Tim Bogar, who was formerly a special assistant to the GM, and is the Mariners' new bench coach.
  • Catching Overturn
  • This isn't as big as the front office overturn, but it is very likely that Chris Iannetta's time as an Angel is over. Acquiring Iannetta was the first move that Jerry DiPoto made as Angel GM, back in 2011, and he represented the end of the Jeff Mathis reign of terror. Current rumors point to Iannetta signing with Seattle as a reunion of sorts with DiPoto.
  • Coaching Staff Changes
  • Hitting Coach Don Baylor? Fired. Pitching coach Mike Butcher? Fired. In their place, Charles Nagy and Dave Hansen. Months after horror stories about the power struggles within the Angels FO came to light, Eppler cut ties with two of Scioscia's coaching staff. I might be reading a bit too much into this, but it does represent a major change in the organization.
  • Andrelton Simmons trade
  • Sean Newcomb was the Angels 1st round pick in 2014, their consensus #1 prospect, and a top 50 prospect across the league [the most recent ranking on ranked him as #19. Erick Aybar was the longest tenured Angel, making his MLB debut 11 days before Jered Weaver in 2006. He ranks 15th in franchise bWAR, and played in the 7th most games of any player in franchise history. Both players are now in the Braves organization, as well as Chris Ellis, who was ranked #2 among Angel prospects.

So the final damage after a mere 39 days in office for Eppler? Longest tenured Angel, a top 20 player in franchise history? Gone. Top prospect? Gone. Second highest-rated prospect? Gone. Catcher? Gone. Hitting Coach? Gone. Pitching Coach? Gone. Three high-ranking front office minds? Gone. Billy Eppler is at the wheel, for better or for worse. We've got an entire offseason ahead of us, an owner with deep pockets, and a ton of very good free agents that could fill holes on this team. It's time to sit down, grab on tight, and see where this ride takes us.

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