Angels GM Billy Eppler disclaims the notion that his club might look to rebuild in the wake of a miserable first half of 2016, as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes. That’s no surprise to hear, as Halos owner Arte Moreno has never been shy about spending for a winner, but Eppler provided some interesting color to the organization’s approach.
Being in a “substantial market” allows the team to both contend and amass young talent, he suggested. The word he focused on, Shaikin notes, was “investment” — with the idea seemingly being to utilize cash for promising new talent rather than swapping out veterans.
As Shaikin explains, it’s still tough to see how Los Angeles will manager to piece together a likely contender next year, given all the areas of concern on the roster. Not much has gone right thus far in 2016, with the significant injury situations facing top starters Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney ranking chief among the barriers to a swift turnaround.
Despite the seemingly tall task ahead, Eppler rejected the idea that the organization will need to come out sprinting into the free agent market this winter. While the Angels may be questioned for their decision not to plunk down top-of-the-market cash for a left fielder in the most recent free agent market, given the somewhat foreseeable struggles that have ensued, the club has also been bitten by some unfavorable investment decisions.
Ultimately, the GM believes that there’s value to be found on the market. “I don’t believe that you have to make those investments to have a good team,” he said of players in the $20MM+ annual salary range. “I believe you can fish in the $2.5-million pool if it’s going to be a part-time, 60-65% player. Or you can invest $12 million in a full-time guy and be very happy with your results.”
That being said, Eppler didn’t rule out future pursuits of big-budget options. “If the opportunity comes, and there is a player that sets himself apart from the pack like none other, we do have the financial resources to go get that player,” he explained.