- Mark Saxon, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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According to the New York Daily News, the Yankees have granted the Angels permission to talk to Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees' vice president of amateur scouting, and Billy Eppler, their senior director of pro personnel.
Oppenheimer, 48, and Eppler, 36, both have Southern California roots. Oppenheimer is credited with improving the Yankees' minor league system, which had been among the worst in the game less than 10 years ago. He picked Brett Gardner and Austin Jackson in his first draft in 2005 and later helped bring in Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson.
Oppenheimer picked right-hander Gerrit Cole in the first round out of Orange Lutheran High in 2008, but Cole elected to attend UCLA and became the No. 1 overall selection of the Pittsburgh Pirates last June.
"I feel honored to be considered and know I wouldn't be afforded this opportunity if it wasn't for all of our players, coaches and scouts," Oppenheimer told the Daily News in a text message.
Eppler was considered Cashman's right-hand man in recent seasons. He joined the Yankees in 2004 after working for the Colorado Rockies for four years.
The Angels have been compiling names of GM candidates since Tony Reagins stepped down on Sept. 30. Oppenheimer and Eppler make sense because of their backgrounds in scouting. The Angels' search is being steered by former GM Bill Stoneman, a proponent of scouting over the more analytical approaches taken by some teams.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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