It wasn’t retaining Justin Upton.Or landing Shohei Ohtani.Or acquiring Ian Kinsler.Or signing Zack Cozart. Eppler, though, appears to have pretty much nailed it, filling three positions – second base, third base and left field – that in recent seasons for this team have been, to various degrees, pits of crippling despair.On top of that, in Ohtani he added a multi-talented player who could be a star when the Angels are on offense and defense and, quite possibly, any third option baseball might invent before next opening day.Now, for the small print, the disclaimer that must be included in every baseball story written outside baseball season:Despite everything Eppler has accomplished, the Angels are guaranteed to be nothing next summer but moderately rebuilt.No matter how many teams have memorable offseasons – and there are always at least a few – only one finishes with a memorable on-season, leaving the 29 others to ponder moves that ultimately failed to bring a championship.Remember, there was a recent December when a lot of people around here were excited about Josh Hamilton, too.But, a week before this Christmas, it would be difficult to improve upon what Eppler has done, particularly since the Angels still aren’t exactly bloated with the assets usually needed to bolster a big-league roster.Oh, sure, his entire plan could yet go to pieces like a dropped gingerbread man.The Angels now have five years and $106 million committed to Upton, a player who has been on five teams in five seasons.Kinsler turns 36 in June and is coming off a season in which his batting average dropped 60 points from where it ended in 2015.Cozart just had his finest season in Cincinnati but never has played third or made as much as $5.5 million, and the Angels just gave him a surprising three years at a stunning $38 million to be their third baseman.Worst of all, it has been learned that Ohtani already has an elbow issue, his ability to play both ways also meaning he has twice the chance to get hurt, a potentially cruel fate, to be sure, but one to keep in mind since these are the Angels.Still – even when viewed in the dimmest light possible – Eppler has plugged three troublesome, lingering holes with veterans used to playing every day, veterans with histories of producing.This is nothing like the winter of 2012 when the Angels attempted to sell as an improvement Joe Blanton and then watched in horror as the right-hander went 2-14, somehow actually pitching worse than the numbers suggested.Short of injuring Mike Trout in a spring training prank involving a jock full of scorpions, Kinsler can’t be anywhere near as bad as Blanton was, even if his batting average drops another 60 points.All of these players represent upgrades, Ohtani also costing the Angels – after the $20-million posting fee and a $2.3-million bonus – no more than any other unproven rookie. Elbow issue and all, nearly every team still wanted him.So Eppler is deserving of the backslaps and high-fives that no doubt have been greeting him in the hallways of the Angels’ front office.In characterizing these four prominent moves, each one is worthy of late-July news treatment. Yes, a deadline headline.Of course, in the end, this coming Angels season hinges greatly on the health of the pitching staff, a hinge that of late has been rusty and in need of more than just oil.Eppler also is talking about employing a six-man rotation as a means to accommodate Ohtani and offer him more rest.While that sounds great, the Angels have had enough trouble keeping five starters upright at any one time. Adding a sixth arm isn’t as simple as just adding a sixth body.Sorting out those problems, however, is why spring training lasts six weeks. There will be plenty of time to worry about all of that and more. For now, Eppler is to be commended.No, they don’t hand out championship rings for the offseason. But Eppler doesn’t need to flash bling to prove he succeeded, not when he’s already wearing Gatorade. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Instead, this recent news development is the one that best captures the offseason for Billy Eppler:It’s nearly impossible today to find anything for which to blatantly criticize the Angels’ general manager.It’s like he went 4 for 4 with the game-winning, bottom-of-the-ninth extra-base hit. In fact, right now, someone should burst into Eppler’s office and celebrate the moment the way the players do, by showering him with the icy contents of a Gatorade bucket.Many of us in the media aren’t comfortable with these sunny-and-smiling forecasts. We’re more conditioned to predict thunderstorms and hail, with a 100-percent chance of calamity.We prefer to exercise our God-given right to question the wisdom of those in charge, even if it means sometimes likening their intellect to that of a Honey Baked ham.