Yanks give Angels okay to talk to Eppler, Oppenheimer about GM gig


Update (Oct. 12th): Via Joel Sherman, and Mark Feinsand, the Angels have asked for and received permission from the Yankees to interview Oppenheimer and pro scouting director Billy Eppler for their GM vacancy. That’s kind of a big deal, they haven’t let them interview for GM jobs before (that we know of).

Original Post (Oct. 11th): Via Jon Heyman, the Angels have Yankees amateur scouting director Damon Oppenheimer on a list of candidates for their vacant GM position. Tony Reagins stepped down as GM last month, surely shamed by the Vernon Wells trade. Kidding, just kidding. Or am I?

Anyway, this is not the first time Oppenheimer has been a candidate for a GM job. The Diamondbacks wanted to speak to him last offseason, but the Yankees denied them permission to do so, their contractual right. Oppenheimer is a Southern California guy and is widely considered to be one of the top GM prospects in the game, so we’ll have to see how this goes. With Brian Cashman set to ink a new deal soon, it seems more and more likely that Opp’s first GM gig will come away from the Bronx.

Categories : Asides, Front Office


  1. Brian S. says:

    Do you think he would trade us Peter Bourjous for Russel Martin and Adam Warren?

    • mbonzo says:

      Trade our starting catcher and a decent pitching prospect for a guy who would be our 4th outfielder, both sides would laugh.

      • Brian S. says:

        Bourjous is no fouth outfielder, he’s actually one of the best in the game.

        • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

          Which of Gardner Granderson or Swisher do you think he’s better than?

          • Brian S. says:

            If this actually happened (it won’t) I would have Swisher DH and Montero catch. Gardner in left, Bourjous in center, Granderson in right. If the front office absolutely refuses to let Montero catch you have Cervelli and Romine catch, Montero DH, and trade Swisher for prospects to whatever team needs a 1B/OF. I love Swisher but I think he is just average defensively and a terrible baserunner. Twenty-four year old Bourjous is above average in all facets of the game (above average hitter, elite defender and baserunner). The Angels have a huge logjam in the outfield and need a catcher which is why I thought of this.

            • mbonzo says:

              Bourjous doesn’t walk, he strikes out too much, and he’s hardly above average making contact. He’s Brett Gardner without the OBP and with a few more homeruns. Swisher has a much better bat than Bourjous, even in this down year. On the Yankees, Bourjous is a 4th outfielder. There is no reason to move Swisher to DH when we have Montero, Arod, and Jeter on the roster.

              • Brian S. says:

                In his first full year Bourjous had a wRC+ of 111. He slugged enough to make up for his lack of walks and it is reasonable to expect that he would improve his offensive game even further as he gets closer to his prime. Swisher had a wRC+ of 122. Peter was the better player considering his defense and baserunning>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Swisher’s defense and baserunning. And again, if you trade Russ you could have Montero catch and still keep Swisher in the DH spot. Jeter and A-Rod are not DHing this next year Jeter will retire as the SS (terrible defense and all) and we won’t have to worry about having A-Rod perma-DH for several years.

                • mbonzo says:

                  wRC+ already incorporates baserunning.
                  Swisher’s fielding was also pretty damn good according to all the stats I can find. For someone who is so concerned about the runs Bourjous saves with his glove (IN RIGHT FIELD!!!) you have to take away all the runs Martin saves that Montero would have no chance at.

                  • Brian S. says:

                    I would have Bourjous play in centerfield. Granderson in right field where his bad reads/jumps wouldn’t hurt as much. Montero would produce a lot more runs than he would give away, and the increase in defense from centerfield would be larger than the drop off in defense at cathcer.

                    • mbonzo says:

                      Bourjous in center field would take away combined UZR from both Gardner and him, you’re not gonna have 2 almost 30 UZR guys playing next to each other, they’re gonna take plays away from each other. Granderson may not be a better CF than Gardner, but he’s still very good despite the broken UZR numbers. Mike has explained why they’re so low before, check that out if you missed it. The difference between Martin and Montero’s defense is much bigger than the difference between Swisher and Bourjous’ defense no matter where you play them.

                    • Brian S. says:

                      I think UZR was spot on with Granderson actually. He’s definitely very athletic and has good range but there were numerous times throughout the year where he would take a wrong step or a bad route on a ball that a lot of other centerfielders would catch. I think a Gardner-Bourjous-Granderson outfield a LOT better than the current one we have, UZR or no. And while I concur that Montero is not the defender that Russ is he would more than make up for it with his bat. Again, this won’t happen, but I’m glad I could spur some debate.

                    • Brian S. says:

                      Also to your UZR argument…Franklin Guitierrez and Ichiro Suzuki were both credited great defense in 2009-2010 and they played right next to eachother. I know Safeco is a lot bigger than YS3 but not so much in left center where Bourjous and Gardner would hypothetically steal eachother’s UZR.

      • Jesse says:

        The only difference is that the Angels will laugh and say “deal”, while the Yankees will laugh and hangup.

        • Brian S. says:

          Not even. That’s actually a really good deal for New York. It was just the first thing off the top of my head.

          • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

            How do you think giving up a very good catcher and a very good pitching prospect for another Brett Gardner player is a “good deal?”

            • Brian S. says:

              Since when is Adam Warren a very good pitching prospect?

              • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

                He’s good enough to not be traded for Bourjuos, that’s for sure.

                • Brian S. says:

                  WAT. He and Noesi/Phelps are interchangeable. Back of the rotation starters all of them.

                  • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

                    those 3 are good trade chips, but not for Peter Bourgous.

                    • Brian S. says:

                      Yeah I hate four and a half win players.

                    • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

                      That comes mostly from his defense which would be a minimal upgrade in rf at YS3. Swisher is a far superior offensive player than Bourjos which is more important given the minimal upgrade in defense.

                      Bourjos: 111 wRC+
                      Swisher: 122 wRC+

                      Bourjos: .336 wOBA
                      Swisher: .358 wOBA

                      Bourjos: .795 OPS
                      Swisher: .822 OPS

                    • Brian S. says:

                      The upgrade on defense and baserunning is anything but minimal. Bourjous is a LOT better in that regard, and that’s even with expecting Swisher to duplicate his surprisingly effective defense this last year. Also Bourjous is 24 and Swisher is 31 so IMO it would be reasonable to expect Peter to improve…

                      But anyways, I was just sharing a thought. I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers.

          • Jesse says:

            Just because it’s the first thing off the top of your head doesn’t make it a good deal. I’m not trying to insult you or anything, but that’s just a bad idea. Russell Martin has done a lot of the little things for the Yankees and Adam Warren is a decent, if not good, pitching prospect who is pretty much major league ready. Plus, if Borjous got traded to the Yankees he’d be a fourth outfielder on this team. The Yankees have zero need for him at the moment.

            • Brian S. says:

              That’s not what I meant. The reason I threw in Adam Warren is because Russel for Bourjous swap is incredibly lopsided and I needed to throw somebody in to help sweeten the pot. And again, Bourjous is not a fourth outfielder, he was one of the best in baseball this last season.

          • Jesse says:

            Oh and btw, Matt Kemp is a FA after next season. Just keep what you’ve got, have Swisher play right field for one more season and go pick up Kemp.

            • Brian S. says:

              The Dodgers won’t stay poor forever. I know we’re the Yankees but you can’t count on him hitting free agency and us ending up with him. I just think this move would upgrade our team in a lot of areas, which is why I thought I would share it.

              • mbonzo says:

                Replacing a spot on the lineup with a guy who OPS’s 100 points less doesn’t help the offense at all, and thats what the Yankees lacked in the playoffs. I know Swisher sucked in the ALDS, but thats small sample size. Who would you rather have hitting, Swisher(DH) and Bourjous(RF) or Swisher(RF) and Montero(DH). I’ll take #2 in a heartbeat.

                Also, in 2013 there will be plenty of rightfield options.
                Josh Hamilton
                Matt Kemp
                B.J. Upton
                Shane Victorino
                Andre Ethier
                Grady Sizemore
                Nick Swisher

                • Brian S. says:

                  How is Bourjous (CF) Swisher (DH) and Montero (C) worse than Swisher (RF) Montero (DH) and Russel Martin (C)??? It’s actually a LOT better offensively.

                  • mbonzo says:

                    With Martin’s babip at a freakishly low point, and the difference between Martin/Montero defense and Swisher/Bourjous defense, I’ll pick the current Yankees’ lineup anyday.

    • Brooklyn Ed says:

      and…. who would be our catcher?

      • Brian S. says:

        See above. It’s just a thought. Russ is pretty average with his 100 wRC+, but it’s a whole lot better than Jeff Mathis and his 25 wRC+. Adam Warren is alright, probably nothing more than a decent backend option. It’s still probably not a fair trade but once again, it’s just an idea.

        • Brooklyn Ed says:

          uh. Romine’s bat isn’t MLB ready, and Montero’s defense is eh.

          • Brian S. says:

            Montero’s bat plus eh defense>>>>>Russ. I just think since the Angels have five outfielders (Wells, Bourjous, Trout, Hunter, Abreu) under contract and Trumbo/Morales at IB/DH they will need to trade one of their outfielders for their biggest need, a catcher. So why not us? In his first full year Bourjous had a wRC+ of 111 along with Gardner esque defense and baserunning. If he and Gardner can reach 120 wRC+’s like I think they will next year they would each be six win players! I’m about to spontaneously combust if I keep thinking about this!

            • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

              Abreu can hardly be considered an outfielder.

              • Brian S. says:

                And like I said, they don’t have room at DH. They could move him AND Bourjous and still have every outfield spot and the 1B/DH position filled, but I don’t see anyone trading for Abreu.

            • johnnybk says:

              I’m about to spontaneously combust if I keep thinking about this!

              Well then stop it for both our sakes.

    • Chris says:

      Isn’t Martin is a free agent? You can’t trade free agents.

  2. dkidd says:

    leave the eppler

    take the oppenheimer


    • MannyGeee says:

      ‘Make him an offer he Can’t refuse’.

      ‘seriously, Mr. Oppenheimer, no matter what tone I say it in, i assure you no one will take Vernon Wells off our hands…’

    • 813rob says:

      I agree. I think we need to keep eppler to take over for cashman. Ya, he wont have gm experience but he works so closely with cashman that he knows how to run things.

  3. If Opp gets the offer good for him, but honestly I would want to take that job even if it was offered to me(some guy on the internet). Vernon Well’s contract and miserable performance is enough to hamstring that team for at least the length of his contract.

    • Steve S. says:

      That, and there’s a perception (correctly or incorrectly) that Scioscia is the defacto GM, which makes your life even more difficult. Scioscia has outlasted 2 GMs there.

      Though I think looking outside the organization for a new head of baseball ops argues against this theory.

  4. Jesse says:

    Speaking of trades, see above, I remember finding a bogus trade that had the Yankees trading Brett Gardner and Brandon Laird to the Angels for Ervin Santana before the start of this season.

    So I ask all of you RABers, if the Angels offered that trade right now, would you accept it?

    • mbonzo says:

      Hell no, Santana is a mediocre pitcher (FIP-wise) in one of the worst offensive leagues in baseball. He’s also signed for only 2 more years at a pretty steep rate for that type of production. I’d do a little bit better of a package for Dan Haren.

      • Preston says:

        If you swap out Santana for Haren

        • Jesse says:

          The Angels would want more than Gardner and Laird for Haren, as mbonzo suggested. It’d probably take Ivan Nova to complete the deal I’d think. As for that original trade proposal, I’d say no with one of the main reasons because Santana is a FA after next season, so if they really wanted him they can wait a year to nab him.

    • Brian S. says:

      The Angels would never do that. Their outfield is already too crowded and that honestly isn’t a tantalizing enough package for a top of the rotation starter. But I wouldn’t want to trade Gardner because he’s one of the best in the bigs at what he does.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      Yes, I’d take it and do the best I could with it for the following reasons (which, keep in mind, are largely due to the fact that I am not a baseball insider):

      1) Higher pay than my current job
      2) It gets me a job within the MLB
      3) If you don’t excel, you can place some blame on the poor contracts you inherited
      4) If you do excel, well then, you’ll surely be offered another job when your contract is up since you inherited those poor contracts

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        Disregard my comment. Misread what was being asked. I answered “If the angels offered you the GM job” (tough morning … need more coffe!)

  5. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Everyone on the interwebs that knows that organization says that Mike Scioscia has more control than whoever the GM is. I doubt he’d take it just to be Scioscia’s bitch.

  6. Karl Krawfid says:

    A-Rod was drinking beer and eating fried chicken ON THE BENCH during the ALDS.

  7. Real Deal Fan says:

    Let’s discuss a trade that can actually take place. What package to you give Oakland for Gio Gonzalez. Back to back 15 game winner on a miserable team.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Whilst you seem to be veering dangerously off topic, i will appease you and swing away at this.

      Anything not named Montero gardner nova or banuelos. Dellin, laird, Sanchez brackman, Warren, phelps, noesi, romine…. All in play.

      take 2 Oakland, I will throw in a Jason Giambi bobblehead and a pink Johnny Damon t shirt….

      Hell,l take everything but dellin and romine, I will drive the other 5 to that shit Hole stadium myself. I got a minivan, I can make this happen.

  8. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Good luck Oppenheimer.

  9. Monteroisdinero says:

    I like Brian’s trade idea. Remember we still have Cervelli to catch AJ. I am not a Swisher fan and do not think he will ever reproduce his 2010 #’s. His arm and speed both suck and although he did make a few nice catches and has a SUPER NICE PERSONALITY-I still hate his right field defense. I’d make the trade for Bourjous to give us a dynamite outfield, best speed in baseball and still plenty of pop. Grandy, Cano, Tex, ARod, Montero is plenty of power for one lineup. Younger and faster and better D with the 5 power bats sounds good.

    Martin is gone after this year anyway in my opinion. 14M off the books with this trade.

  10. JohnC says:

    BOurjous is nothing more than a 4th outfielder. Gardner is better. I’d much rahter target a guy like Brennan Bosch of Detroit, a good young outfielder with power. His swing would be perfect in YS and he holds his own well against lefties

  11. Grover says:

    It’s always a good thing when one of your people take over the GM position of another organization. Cashman is a proven commodity who rarely gets taken in any deal and Oppenheimer knows the Yankee farm system intimately making it a strong possibility they can do deals together. A late season pickup of an expiring Abreu, Hunter or a pitcher is possible if they fall out of the race a little quicker next year. Cashman could offer Soriano for a couple of prospects now as the Angels need a closer and the Yanks are probably at or above $185M of the $200M payroll limit if CC is resigned for similar annual money, modest arbitration raises are factored in and Swisher’s option is picked up. Who in their right mind pays $11M for a seventh inning guy? Cashman was just as right about Soriano as he was when he was against Arod’s new deal.

    Swisher’s option is a no brainer as he is more productive than any of the available free agent outfielders. I suggest that he could be picked up and subsequently traded for prospects and savings that allow the Yanks to pursue CJ and Darvish, a left handed dh bat and some bench and bullpen help that will need to be replaced while allowing Montero to begin his career as predominantly a corner outfielder and emergency third catcher. He will be beter than Alfonso Soriano or Damon in left or Abreu was in right when he was with the Yanks. The payroll is probably the biggest reason why he stays in pinstripes as it is warped by Arod and Tex having full no trade clauses, Burnett and Jeter. Gardner is the only cheap starting position player and that is a bad formula for flexibility and continued long term success.

  12. DERP says:

    I would do Bourjos for Martin and Warren. Martin you have for one more year and his replacement is already on the team. Warren is a back end rotation/bullpen guy. There are serious questions as to whether he can pitch at the ML level.

    Bourjos you get for five more years. Great defender, solid hitter (3.5 WAR if you take out his defense), decent power (similar ISO as Martin). Everyone here loves Gardner, but Bourjos will probably be better over the next few years (he was a better hitter this past year).

    No brainer IMO. I don’t think the Angels do it anyway.

  13. Reggie C. says:

    Oppenheimer is going to Chicago to back up Theo Epstein. BOOM!

  14. crawdaddie says:

    Oppenheimer’s multi-year contract expires this season which is why they’re letting him interview for a job that is a promotion.

  15. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Must be confident that Cashman is coming back.

  16. vin says:

    Didn’t Oppenheimer allow the recent draftees to play video games, eat fried chicken and drink beer instead of reporting to instructs?

    /let the smear campaign begin

  17. Paul VuvuZuvella (formerly Nuke LaDoosh) says:

    DOpp has been a huge asset for the Yankees. I wish him well.

  18. Rich in NJ says:

    I like Cash a lot, but I’m not sure that he is the most irreplaceable of the three.

  19. crawdaddie says:

    How would you know if those other two aren’t as irreplacable as Cash?

    • Rich in NJ says:

      I didn’t use the word “know” for a reason. I said “I’m not sure.”

      I think great talent evaluators are indispenable. Both Oppenheimer and Eppler are talent evaluators. Cash has said that skill is not his strength.

      Now, one could argue (perhaps more persuasively) that a facilator/delegator is a more important skillset for a GM.

      I’m merely raising the issue that it’s an open question, and without knowing these guys personally, I tend to opt for talent evaluators because it enables a GM to be the final backstop for personnel decisions based on what he sees rather than relying on others’ judgments.

  20. bonestock94 says:

    The international drafting has been phenomenal but in my (just a fan) opinion I wouldn’t mind seeing a different approach to the MLB drafting. So who knows, maybe this isn’t all bad.

  21. Real Deal Fan says:

    I’m still confused how you guys think Cash is a good GM? Your payroll is 200 million and this is the best pitching staff? I think we need a guy like Opp that knows talent.

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