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Yankees executive Billy Eppler a strong candidate for Angels GM job

The Angels have begun the process of interviewing external candidates for their vacant general manager job by seeking permission from the New York Yankees to speak to assistant GM Billy Eppler, who was a finalist for the Angels position when they hired Jerry Dipoto in October of 2011.

Dipoto resigned on July 1 amid renewed friction with Manager Mike Scioscia. The Angels have already interviewed two in-house candidates who were hired by Dipoto, assistant GMs Matt Klentak and Scott Servais, and are in the process of contacting clubs about other candidates.

They hope to have a new GM in place by the end of the season or shortly thereafter.

Eppler, 40, is a San Diego native who pitched at the University of Connecticut before an arm injury ended his playing career. He began scouting for the Colorado Rockies in 2000 before being hired by the Yankees as a scout after the 2004 season.

Eppler was promoted to pro scouting director after the 2005 season and to assistant GM after the 2011 season. He interviewed for the San Diego Padres GM job in August of 2014 and was a candidate for the Arizona Diamondbacks GM job last September but declined to interview.

Eppler has been tabbed by some as the front-runner for the Angels job, and he comes with a strong endorsement from longtime Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who last year told the New York Daily News: “He checks all the boxes. He’s got the analytics side checked off, he’s got the administrative side checked off, and he’s got the scouting side checked off. He’s got the leadership side checked off because he’s a great communicator.

“They’re all equal. Very few people possess all those strengths and those qualities. He does, in my opinion. He’s built a great reputation that he’s earned, and we’re lucky to have him. He’s an important piece of my pyramid.”

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