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OC Register: Angels GM Billy Eppler, after failed Dodgers deal, says ‘nothing active right now’

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Two days after word of the Angels’ collapsed deal to add Ross Stripling and Joc Pederson, Billy Eppler gave no indication that those trade talks with the Dodgers had been revived.

“I have nothing active right now,” Eppler said Tuesday morning, the day Angels pitchers and catchers reported for spring training.

A week earlier, multiple reports indicated the Angels were going to get Stripling and Pederson from the Dodgers, a result of the Dodgers getting Mookie Betts and David Price. However, the Betts-Price trade was delayed by medical issues and didn’t end up happening until Sunday, and by then Angels owner Arte Moreno had pulled the deal that would have brought Stripling and Pederson.

Maddon admitted he, like many Angels fans, had begun putting Stripling and Pederson in red uniforms, to some extent.

“Of course I thought about it,” Maddon said. “I can’t deny that. Of course I did. But I never got to the point of, give me a phone number so I can make a call and get acquainted and all that stuff.”

Maddon said Eppler “did a nice job of managing my expectations” by telling him there were still hurdles before a deal could be completed.

Without that deal, the Angels are left with the roster they had a week ago, and a rotation some believe is still short.

“We’re open to (adding a veteran starter) if it fits, and it makes sense,” Eppler said. “I don’t think anybody would appreciate us inserting a veteran starter in there at the sacrifice of performance.”

Eppler said young starters like Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez gave them reason to believe they can evolve to bolster the rotation, especially under the tutelage of new pitching coach Mickey Callaway and bullpen coach Matt Wise.

“I do believe in our group here and their ability to make players better,” Eppler said.

ALSO

From the Best Shape Of My Life files, Eppler said he’s heard glowing reports about Justin Upton. “I haven’t laid eyes on him yet, but a couple of the coaches said, ‘Wait till you see him,’” Eppler said. “Sounds like he’s almost like a prize fighter or something like that.” Upton is coming back from a season in which he had two knee injuries and a toe injury. …

Eppler wouldn’t commit to his plans for Jo Adell, who finished last season at Triple-A. Considered one of the top prospects in baseball, Adell has only Brian Goodwin between him and the everyday right field job. “I don’t want to define it,” Eppler said. “I want to let it be organic and see how he is when he comes in the door. I’m looking forward to seeing him.” …

The Angels are expecting a few players to miss the first workout Wednesday because of a flu bug, Eppler said.

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From the Best Shape Of My Life files, Eppler said he’s heard glowing reports about Justin Upton. “I haven’t laid eyes on him yet, but a couple of the coaches said, ‘Wait till you see him,’” Eppler said. “Sounds like he’s almost like a prize fighter or something like that.”

We have a winner for first to reference Best Shape Of My Life....

I have to admit, I am buying this hook, line and sinker... I hope he has a monster year.

Edited by True Grich

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