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The growing list of Angels candidates for the open GM position

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It still looks like it’ll be some time until they announce their new hire

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

According to ESPN, the Angels have interviewed or will interview at least seven executives for their open general manager role.

Per the article, the list includes Athletics assistant general manager/director of player personnel Billy Owens, Padres senior advisor/director of player personnel Logan White, Nationals special assistant to the general manager Dan Jennings, Cubs senior VP for player personnel Jason McLeod, former Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill and two Diamondbacks executives with the title senior vice president and assistant GM: Amiel Sawdaye and Jared Porter.

Last month, the Angels fired their current GM, Billy Eppler, after a disappointing 2020 season in which they had their lowest winning percentage since 1999. It marked five straight seasons of a losing record under Eppler.

As the article mentions, these candidates mentioned have backgrounds in scouting more so than administration.

Going back to the early Athletics clubs run by Billy Beane as portrayed in “Moneyball” and to the more recent Astros clubs run by Jeff Luhnow, baseball has been trending toward executives with a more analytical, increasingly corporate approaches, rather than executives with a background in scouting.

In 2013 and 2014, Hill was the Marlins’ president of baseball operations while Jennings was the general manager, before Jennings moved into the dugout as interim manager. Hill left the Marlins earlier this month when his contract expired; he spent 18 years with the club in various roles. Three candidates are from the Theo Epstein tree: Porter and McLeod (Red Sox and Cubs) and Sawdaye (Red Sox). Owens and White are both longtime top scouts with input across multiple departments at the highest levels.

It looks as if it’ll be some time before the Angels decide on who they’ll hire, and rightfully so. Last night, the club said they were going to do a thorough search and take their time looking for their next GM. The Angels’ interview process is still in the first phase, according to the article. The interviews were conducted over video conferences.

Tony La Russa hired as White Sox manager

Well, it looks as if Tony La Russa’s time with the Angels will be brief. Yesterday, the White Sox announced they had hired the 76-year-old to be their new manager.

Last offseason, the Angels hired La Russa as a senior advisor in their baseball operations department. His job was to assist the front office in areas including player evaluation and Minor League development.

A few weeks ago, the Angels granted permission for the Chicago White Sox to interview La Russa for their open managerial position.

Per Eric’s article:

La Russa has an incredible managerial record, winning six pennants and three World Series in his 33 years at the helm, his 2,728 wins third all-time. La Russa was already inducted into the Hall of Fame as a manager, in 2014.

But La Russa last managed in 2011, and at 76 years old would be five years older than the second-oldest manager in MLB (Dusty Baker). La Russa would be the oldest manager since 80-year-old Jack McKeon led the Marlins for the final 90 games in 2011. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just unexpected.

In addition to the open GM spot, it looks like the Angels will have to fill his vacant spot too.