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#pounditFriday, January 21, 2022

Mets hire failed Angels GM Billy Eppler

Billy Eppler at a press conference

The New York Mets had difficulty finding a new general manager, but they have finally made a hire.

The Mets are hiring former Los Angeles Angels GM Billy Eppler.

Eppler was hired by the Angels after the 2015 season was fired after the 2020 season. The Angels never won more than 80 games in a season during his five seasons as the team’s GM.

Eppler came to the Angels from the Yankees, where he was an assistant to Brian Cashman, and now he will be returning to New York.

During his time as Angels GM, Eppler oversaw the successful recruitment and signing of Shohei Ohtani. He also signed Mike Trout to a massive contract extension.

However, Eppler failed to sign, acquire or develop any pitchers of note. Pitching remained the Angels’ biggest weakness during Eppler’s tenure — an issue that was comically addressed by the new general manager in the Angels’ most recent draft.

Not only did Eppler fail to improve the team’s weak pitching, but he also seemed to do a poor job of prioritizing the team’s needs. For instance, the Angels kept signing/investing in expensive position players like Justin Upton and Anthony Rendon, all while the pitching remained weak.

Some of the Angels’ failings during Eppler’s tenure could be attributed to Angels owner Arte Moreno, who is known to meddle. It’s unclear to what extent Eppler acted based on Moreno’s desires and what were his own decisions. But the bottom line is the team did not do well during his five seasons.

Why would the Mets hire him based on all this? The Mets went through an extensive list of candidates and got turned down by numerous targets before eventually making their way to Eppler, who sought another chance to run a team. He will have his work cut out for him with the Mets, but at least he is getting another chance as a GM.

Photo: Mar 24, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler at a press conference to announce a 12 year contract extension for center fielder Mike Trout (not pictured) at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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