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Was firing Eppler the right call?


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  1. 1. Do you agree with Arte's decision to fire Eppler?



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5 minutes ago, Inside Pitch said:

Me either -- that wasn't my point.  The bigger picture is it's very likely Eppler would have gone about it differently.  If he doesn't make the Segura trade then maybe Newcomb is still here or used for something else.  I think it's pretty much a lock that Grichuk isn't included as a throw in to get a 3B who was good at driving in runs (as per Dipoto).

Eppler inherited a wasteland and had zero money.  He didn't spend money the first three years on the job and as he walks out the door he leaves the Angels in much better shape than he got them.  The next guy will get all the atta boys and accolades, but the heavy lifting was already done.

 

Freese was a bad trade....a dumb trade....the overall grade for DiPoto is poor, worse than Eppler....focusing on the 2014 playoff appearance, to give DiPoto a higher grade than Eppler, is a bad take also....but I still (kinda) admire the Greinke trade....we just haven't done deadline deals like that.....it was pretty exciting....

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Yes, 5 seasons with losing records with the best player in the league is just simply unacceptable.

Yes. Eppler's strength set the team on the right path. He got spending under control, rebuilt the farm system and proved an effective bullpen could be built for cheap.  And now we need someone th

what Jerry started with what he left for Eppler: what Eppler is leaving the next guy:  

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Just now, DMVol said:

Freese was a bad trade....a dumb trade....the overall grade for DiPoto is poor, worse than Eppler....focusing on the 2014 playoff appearance, to give DiPoto a higher grade than Eppler, is a bad take also....but I still (kinda) admire the Greinke trade....we just haven't done deadline deals like that.....it was pretty exciting....

My take on the Grienke trade was that he got absolute max value for Segura.  That doesnt make it a great trade but it was a great return on what amounted to Segura and two nothings.   And I called the other two guys nothings at the time.   I don't see Eppler making that trade given Greinke had gone on record as wanting to test FA and go to the highest bidder, but thats speculation and you know the old line about everyone having an opinion.

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49 minutes ago, Inside Pitch said:

Money the Angels already had tied up when he got here and a farm system he didn't have to help improve the team with in order to compensate for the barren farm.   

If you need a clue how on how those things impacted what Eppler could do, consider this.   The Angels had all of ONE prospect of any merit when he got here.  He turned that prospect into a SS that managed the 35th best WAR total in all of MLB (position players), the last five years combined.   Now imagine if he would have had the assets Dipoto inherited...   BTW, Segura who was traded away, ranks 37th over that same span.  Think maybe the Angels would have done things differently had he been hired in 2012 instead of the smartest guy in the room?    

boom smile GIF

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1 hour ago, Mark PT said:

So as far as acquiring free-agents, we dont know if his being outbid is his lack of knowing market value or Arte's putting limitations on him, this is what I make of it. 

Drafting really depends on what is available at your draft positions and what your strategy is. Meaning do you take a raw prospect and develop, take the best available player and increase your teams trade assets, or fill your teams needs with whatever acceptable talent is there (in the draft). IF this is the case then what was his strategy? He sucks if his strategy was to draft the best available and use it for trade value as he did not acquire pitchers. WE dont know what limits Arte put on him.

So as far as I can see, we dont have enough info to make an educated opinion on him until we know answers to these questions.  

You're right, I'm not sure anyone outside of the organization could know for sure. But if I had to take a guess...

- The free agents that he wanted to sign, probably preferred playing back east, however, if he understood market value, he would've paid above market value to ensure the success of the team. 

- No one blames him for losing out on Cole anymore, certainly not me. That sort of money can cripple an organization, especially the length of it on a pitcher.

- Eppler had more than enough opportunity to draft high end pitching that was still on the board, but chose to go with high end position players instead. I actually fundamentally agree with the strategy, but it failed to take into account team needs present and future, which is at least partially why the Angels haven't made the playoffs.

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18 hours ago, Torridd said:

How is he the best GM since Stoneman? I generally use W-L as a criteria and 5 years is a long time to be consistently bad as an organization especially with the money the Angels have. Blame Arte if you want, but he hasn't owned the team just 5 years.

Well there ya go. You are completely disregarding everything that goes into building an effective organization.

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Something else Ill add here, aside from whats already been mentioned (coming aboard with a bloated payroll, no farm, nothing to trade.) 

Pitching has been our biggest problem for years. And every year someone needs TJ. (15-the current has been brutal).

In epplers defense, Skaggs wasnt his fault, and hurt us big time. And nobody knew Ohtani would be out again. 

Sure, he should have done a better job acquiring pitching. But we seemed to have pissed off God with the luck weve had the last half decade. And i cant blame him that. 

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15 minutes ago, ten ocho recon scout said:

Something else Ill add here, aside from whats already been mentioned (coming aboard with a bloated payroll, no farm, nothing to trade.) 

Pitching has been our biggest problem for years. And every year someone needs TJ. (15-the current has been brutal).

In epplers defense, Skaggs wasnt his fault, and hurt us big time. And nobody knew Ohtani would be out again. 

Sure, he should have done a better job acquiring pitching. But we seemed to have pissed off God with the luck weve had the last half decade. And i cant blame him that. 

If the Skaggs situation doesnt happen this year, we dont go after Teheran and the team is playing today.   

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6 hours ago, Stradling said:

Like I said, you don’t get it, and you are never going to get it.   It’s who you are.  It’s been explained over and over again.  I’m not defending Eppler I’m defending that five years isn’t enough time to rebuild the worst farm when you have to try to stay competitive because of Trout and you can’t trade any value to stock the farm.  Should we bring up the zero international presence between Stoneman until Eppler?   Nah, it will fall on deaf ears.  

Let's consider the complete tear down and tank strategy of the Houston Astros. Jeff Luhnow was hired in 2011 and the Astros traded everyone and lost over 100 games three years in a row. They snuck in to the wild card with 86 wins four years later in 2015, and then won 101 games and the world series in 2017. That's six years before having better than mid 80's win totals, and that is with a complete tear down. For some reason people seem to think a soft rebuild should happen quicker, than if you just blow it up, but that doesn't make any sense.

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5 minutes ago, Inside Pitch said:

If the Skaggs situation doesnt happen this year, we dont go after Teheran and the team is playing today.   

yep.  I mentioned this in a different thread.  Billy also had opportunity to do a better job of finding Skaggs replacement.  Well at least theoretically he did.  If he thought that someone like Keuchel or Ryu were worth the money, would Arte have let him spend the additional amount to get one of those guys instead?  

Honestly, I think this is a prime example of why Billy got fired.  We all know that the mid tier market for starting pitching is just loaded with landmines everywhere.  So for two years straight, Eppler essentially decided against trying to brave that minefield.  

Spending more than you're comfortable with in that market is a tough call.  But at some point you probably have to take a bit of a risk or you end up with Cahill, Teheran or Harvey.  Billy took an extremely risk averse approach to pitching.  We didn't end up with any disasters but at the same time there were some missed opportunities.  Even for guys in the 1-2 year range he could have done a lot better.  And I think that's what ended up being one of the most visible things to Arte as opposed to all the other good stuff that Eppler did.  

At some point, as the GM and HMFIC of a baseball team you've got to take a less conservative approach if you want your team to win.  You have to stick your neck out and be willing to get fired for those 2 or 3 moves that can make or break your team.  You have to sort of guess right now and then.  This team clearly needed a Lance Lynn and Ryu to get them over the top. 

Sometimes you have to pay market rates as opposed to what you think a guy is worth.   There were chances and opportunities even if the odds weren't great, but we essentially passed on all of them.  

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30 minutes ago, Inside Pitch said:

If the Skaggs situation doesnt happen this year, we dont go after Teheran and the team is playing today.   

Great point.

Its crazy how much one move can have ripple effects. I saw the thread about donaldson vs rendon.... had we signed donaldson and went after a pitcher, most of us would have been good with it. Who knew donaldson was ready to get old this year?   

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14 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

Let's consider the complete tear down and tank strategy of the Houston Astros. Jeff Luhnow was hired in 2011 and the Astros traded everyone and lost over 100 games three years in a row. They snuck in to the wild card with 86 wins four years later in 2015, and then won 101 games and the world series in 2017. That's six years before having better than mid 80's win totals, and that is with a complete tear down. For some reason people seem to think a soft rebuild should happen quicker, than if you just blow it up, but that doesn't make any sense.

people vastly underestimate the value in trading away major league players for mid to upper minors talent.  Not only are you skipping 2-3 years or more of development, those players are much more of known quantity.  

Expecting to accomplish that by drafting and international signings in a short period is just delusional.  

Here's an example - Does anyone know how many starting pitchers from the 2017 draft are having a legit impact for their major league club?  I could find all of one, and his name is Griffin Canning.  That's not just our draft from that year, but the entire 2017 draft.  That was Eppler's second draft.  

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40 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

Let's consider the complete tear down and tank strategy of the Houston Astros. Jeff Luhnow was hired in 2011 and the Astros traded everyone and lost over 100 games three years in a row. They snuck in to the wild card with 86 wins four years later in 2015, and then won 101 games and the world series in 2017. That's six years before having better than mid 80's win totals, and that is with a complete tear down. For some reason people seem to think a soft rebuild should happen quicker, than if you just blow it up, but that doesn't make any sense.

The Astros were immensely lucky in who they drafted, and the time they become good major league regulars:

2011: George Springer (1.11), 2014

2012: Carlos Correa (1.1), 2015; Lance McCullers (1.41s), 2015

2013: Mark Appel (1.1.), nada

2014: Brady Aiken (1.1.), nada

2015: Alex Bregman (1.2), 2016; Kyle Tucker (1.5), 2020

 

So in a five year span, they drafted two superstars (Correa and Bregman) and three good players (Springer, McCullers, and Tucker) all in the first round. All despite blowing it two years in a row on the 1st overall pick with Appel and Aiken.

But their success also had other factors: One, they made some great international signings in Altuve, Gurriel, and Alvarez; some good trades in Peacock, some good signings in Brantley, Morton and McHugh, and two great trades in Verlander and Cole. And I'm not even touching the cheating part.

The point being, it wasn't simply that they tanked. They made a lot of smart moves in a variety of ways. Looking at their model, I'd like to see the Angels focus more on international scouting and signing, and trying to make trades that don't bust the farm, but bring in either great players on their last year, and then extending them, or smart medium level trades and signings that require a good scouting and data department. 

In other words, the Angels need to invest in infrastructure, not just throw money around or deliberately tank, especially when they have such a good lineup.

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6 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

The point being, it wasn't simply that they tanked. They made a lot of smart moves in a variety of ways. 

Well how do you think they got all those top picks? No tank no Springer, Correa or Bregman. Obviously there were other factors but tanking built the core of their lineup and it still took them 6 years to put it all together. Eppler was here 5, and he had some tremendous bad luck, so I am simply disagreeing that five years should be enough time to completely turn around a franchise.

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9 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

Well how do you think they got all those top picks? No tank no Springer, Correa or Bregman. Obviously there were other factors but tanking built the core of their lineup and it still took them 6 years to put it all together. Eppler was here 5, and he had some tremendous bad luck, so I am simply disagreeing that five years should be enough time to completely turn around a franchise.

Well look at it this way, the Angels already have their versions of Correa, Bregman and Springer: Trout, Rendon, and Ohtani - not to mention Fletcher, and upcoming prospects in Adell, Marsh, and others. Meaning, they're not where the Astros were in 2011-13, they're more like 2015-16, with an almost-good team.

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15 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Well look at it this way, the Angels already have their versions of Correa, Bregman and Springer: Trout, Rendon, and Ohtani - not to mention Fletcher, and upcoming prospects in Adell, Marsh, and others. Meaning, they're not where the Astros were in 2011-13, they're more like 2015-16, with an almost-good team.

Yeah, the Angels should be winning yesterday given the talent that has been brought in. Not getting a decent FA pitcher this offseason has been brutal and not to make excuses but I think this team makes the playoffs in a normal year.

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4 hours ago, Second Base said:

You're right, I'm not sure anyone outside of the organization could know for sure. But if I had to take a guess...

- The free agents that he wanted to sign, probably preferred playing back east, however, if he understood market value, he would've paid above market value to ensure the success of the team. 

- No one blames him for losing out on Cole anymore, certainly not me. That sort of money can cripple an organization, especially the length of it on a pitcher.

- Eppler had more than enough opportunity to draft high end pitching that was still on the board, but chose to go with high end position players instead. I actually fundamentally agree with the strategy, but it failed to take into account team needs present and future, which is at least partially why the Angels haven't made the playoffs.

That sounds reasonable. So basically his biggest failure was not using excess talent to acquire pitching.

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1 hour ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

Yeah, the Angels should be winning yesterday given the talent that has been brought in. Not getting a decent FA pitcher this offseason has been brutal and not to make excuses but I think this team makes the playoffs in a normal year.

Agreed. The Angels have had some really bad luck--especially with their rotation ~5ish years ago, not to mention Skaggs. Eppler's tenure has been a mixture of good and bad signings, but thankfully no terrible ones that hobble the payroll for years to come, with the exception of Upton. And that was/is merely bad, not terrible.

The true talent level of this team is around 85 wins, in my opinion. You build from there.

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