Billy Eppler isn’t sure if he’s bringing philosophical change to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. That’s not something he’s especially concerned with. How things were done under Jerry Dipoto is largely immaterial. Eppler’s focus is on the future, which began when he took over as the team’s general manager in early October.
Eppler is a first-year GM, but he’s not without experience. A graduate of the University of Connecticut — his degree is in finance — he spent the last 11 years in the New York Yankees front office. Before that, the erstwhile collegiate hurler worked in scouting and player development for the Colorado Rockies.
Eppler on his role with the Yankees: “The quick and easy answer would be to say I was one of (Brian Cashman’s) assistant firefighters. I helped out in a lot of different areas. Originally, Brian hired me to run the pro scouting department. From there, it manifested itself into more involvement with major league operations, roster management, contract negotiation and player procurement.
“I had some existing relationships with agents from my days in Colorado. I had a comfort level signing players and negotiating contracts. I continued to learn more about rules and the protocols as they relate to roster management.
“In New York, I stayed involved with the player development side and was one of the liaisons between our major league club and what was going on in the upper levels of our farm system. The job essentially morphed into a potpourri of everything.”