Examining the potential Angels GM candidates

The search for the next Angels general manager is starting to heat up.

Immediately after the Angels season ended in late September, news broke that Billy Eppler was out as GM after five seasons in Anaheim. Five straight losing seasons while employing Mike Trout, the best player on the planet, has opened up a GM vacancy for an organization that needs to start winning ASAP. Shortly after Eppler’s firing, there was plenty of early conversation on who the new Angels GM would be.

In late September, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Dave Dombrowski, former GM and Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Red Sox and Tigers, was a potential fit in Anaheim. Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com also reported the potential of Dombrowski as a fit as well as Toronto’s Senior VP Tony LaCava. On Saturday, we learned of six new potential GM fits for the Angels.

Via Jon Morosi of MLB.com, these six names are potential fits for the Angels next GM:

• Josh Byrnes, Dodgers

Jason McLeod, Cubs

• Billy Owens, Athletics

• Jared Porter, D-backs

• Scott Sharp, Royals

• Logan White, Padres

With the end of the 2020 postseason in sight, there is a good chance this GM search will heat up in the coming weeks. As Morosi stated in his article, the club is still in the “preliminary stage of their search process” but there is traction in this process. Now that the Angels have eight potential candidates cited by prominent MLB reporters, let’s take a look at each of these candidates with a rundown.

Dave Dombrowski: Consultant and advisor, Music City Baseball LLC

Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox

The Angels-Dombrowski fit is both obvious and backed up by many industry sources. As mentioned above, the connection has been reported ad nauseam. The longtime MLB executive is currently part of a group trying to bring an expansion baseball team to Nashville. Dombrowski started his baseball tenure as a 22-year-old assistant with the Chicago White Sox in the 1978 season. Since then, he helped lead the expansion Miami Marlins to their first World Series title (1997), the Tigers to two World Series appearances (2006, 2012), and the Red Sox to their 2018 World Series title.

The fit is obvious for many reasons. Dombrowski is a proven winner who has shown a tendency to emphasize the short-term aspirations of a club. He quickly led the Marlins to a title, built a sustainable winner in Detroit, and got the Red Sox over the hump with a 108-win, World Series-winning 2018 season. Dombrowski has made many notable draft selections (Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello), trade acquisitions (Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, Prince Fielder), and free-agent signings (J.D. Martinez). His success is undeniable.

The downside to Dombrowski is his incessant win-now approach that often leads the organization to dire conditions following his departure. The Tigers and Red Sox both had inflated payrolls, poor farm systems, and an overall disastrous situation once Dombrowski left. This is the trade-off that has scared many Angels fans at the mere mention of his name. After years of reckless spending and a deliberate win-now approach, Angels fans likely aren’t dying for a repeat of Jerry Dipoto/Tony Reagins. What’s appealing about Dombrowski, however, is his proven track record of winning and the Angels dire need to start winning in 2021.

Tony LaCava: Senior VP, Toronto Blue Jays

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

LaCava may be a familiar name to Angels fans. Back in the disastrous 2015 season that saw former GM Jerry Dipoto leave in the middle of the season, LaCava was listed as one of the early candidates to fill the vacant role in Anaheim. Obviously, that role went to Billy Eppler but LaCava’s name has popped up once again as a candidate in 2020. LaCava also has major Angels ties given that his MLB career started as an Angels scout for the club in the 90’s. The 59-year-old has been with the Blue Jays since 2003, filling numerous roles such as assistant GM, interim GM, director of player development, and senior VP.

LaCava was in a rather prominent role in the Jays’ rise to back-to-back ALCS appearances in 2015-2016. Moves to acquire players such as Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, and Edwin Encarnacion helped spark the Jays’ long playoff drought and near misses from the World Series in 2015-2016. Following their down period from 2017-2019, the club built a strong, young core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio. If LaCava were to leave, he’d be leaving behind a budding Jays team that has the talent and youth to compete for the next half-decade. With LaCava’s ties to the 2015 GM job and his initial start as an Angels scout, this is a fit that makes a ton of sense.

Josh Byrnes: VP of Baseball Operations, Los Angeles Dodgers

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Sans Dombrowski, it’s hard to find another potentially available GM with the track record that Byrnes has. Not only does Byrnes have a strong track record, namely a World Series title with Boston in 2004 and the Dodgers dominant stretch since 2015, but he’s been the next man up to two of the game’s most prominent front office members. Under Theo Epstein in Boston and Andrew Friedman in Los Angeles, Byrnes has played a prominent role as a right-hand man to the two strongest front office members in baseball. Byrnes also has experience being the man on top, handling GM duties for Arizona (five years) and San Diego (three years).

Per the Dodgers website, Byrnes has handled the club’s scouting and player development duties since 2015. During this time, the Dodgers have had major success, whether it be MLB success (most wins in baseball in that time), draftees (Walker Buehler, Will Smith, Gavin Lux), or player acquisitions (Max Muncy, Chris Taylor). Obviously, Byrnes hasn’t had full GM responsibilities during that time but both Andrew Friedman and Theo Epstein are on the record raving about Byrnes. It’s hard to find a more qualified GM candidate who would be available for the Angels this offseason.

Jason McLeod: Senior VP of Player Personnel, Chicago Cubs

Credit: Major League Bastian

McLeod is another member of the school of Epstein, much like Josh Byrnes. After spending a decade with the Padres from 1994-2003, McLeod made his way to the Boston Red Sox, where he helped Theo Epstein construct the 2007 title team. McLeod landed a role as assistant GM with the Padres, a role he held for two years before he came to the Cubs. Since 2012, McLeod has worked in numerous roles with the club, mainly as the Cubs VP of Player Development and Amateur Scouting from 2012-2019. He was promoted late in 2019 to his current role as Senior VP of Player Personnel.

McLeod is viewed as one of the strong scouting eyes in the entire sport. His track record of players drafted and developed includes Dustin Pedroia, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kyle Schwarber, and Ian Happ. Following McLeod’s promotion in 2019, Epstein stated that “Jason has made immense contributions to the organization in his eight years supervising amateur scouting and player development”. McLeod is the owner of two World Series rings, both under Epstein in Boston (2007) and Chicago (2016). This is an incredibly strong candidate who has a rather remarkable track record of drafting and developing star talent.

Billy Owens: Assistant GM and Director of Player Personnel, Oakland Athletics

Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle

Per Jon Morosi’s report, “Owens is regarded as one of the top talent evaluators in the sport, as a key voice in many of the A’s cost-efficient moves over the last two decades.” Owens has spent nearly two decades with Oakland, mainly in a role as Director of Player Personnel over the last 12 years and the past two years as assistant GM. It’ll be interesting if the recent news about longtime executive Billy Beane leaving the organization will determine the fate of Owens’ future. If current GM David Forst takes on an even bigger role, possibly as President of Baseball Operations, that could open up the GM job in Oakland for Owens.

If Owens does leave, he’ll bring a unique perspective as someone who has been in the Billy Beane/Moneyball front office. Working for an Oakland team with a smaller spending budget, Owens would bring a small market philosophy to an Angels team that can spend with the biggest spenders in baseball. Given the departure of Beane and Owens’ link to the New York Mets, Owens may end up in a prominent role with someone other than the Angels.

Jared Porter: Senior VP and Assistant GM, Arizona Diamondbacks

Via MLB Network

Porter has taken on prominent roles mainly in scouting with Boston (2004-2015), the Cubs (2016-2017), and recently as Senior VP and Assistant GM in Arizona (2017-present). In his article, Morosi stated that “Porter has risen to prominence within the industry through his expertise in pro scouting.” Porter has the honorable title of owning the most World Series titles (four) of any candidate on this list.

Porter was Boston’s Director of Professional Scouting from 2011-2015, a period where he helped build the 2013 title team through major pro scouting acquisitions (Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, David Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, John Lackey, Ryan Dempster, Koji Uehara). With the Cubs, Porter helped shape the club’s first World Series title (2016) in over a century due to pro scouting acquisitions (Ben Zobrist, John Lackey, Aroldis Chapman). Porter’s a bit different from these other choices in that he has had a very specific niche at evaluating professional talent. That type of skillset could be valuable for an Angels club looking to add immediate impact talent to the 2021 roster.

Scott Sharp: Vice President and Assistant GM, Kansas City Royals

Via Fox Sports Kansas City

Sharp played a major role in the Royals’ rise to back-to-back World Series appearances, including their title in 2015. After spending five years as Director of MiLB Operations (2008-2012) and two years as the Director of Player Development (2013-2014), he was promoted to Assistant GM, a job he has held to this date. He was further promoted to the Vice President role prior to the 2018 season. As Morosi stated, “Sharp was the Royals’ director of player development leading up to their back-to-back American League pennants and 2015 World Series title, which were heavily influenced by homegrown talent.”

Sharp not only played a prominent role in helping build the foundation for the Royals World Series teams but he also worked through two very different front office styles. As a member of one of the last teams to fully embrace analytics, Sharp was a high-level executive during the Royals’ old school approach to roster-building, an approach that led to the 2015 title. Since then, Sharp and the Royals have had to keep up with the rest of the league who have fully embraced analytics. Sharp is an intriguing candidate who would bring a strong resume of player development success.

Logan White: Senior Advisor to the GM/Director of Player Personnel, San Diego Padres

Via The San Diego Tribune

White has spent the past half-decade as A.J. Preller’s right-hand man in San Diego after spending years building the machine that is the Los Angeles Dodgers. From Morosi’s article: “He ran the Dodgers’ MLB Draft operations during his tenure there, including selections of Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, Matt Kemp, and Russell Martin. White also was involved in the international signings of Hyun Jin Ryu, Hiroki Kuroda, Julio Urías, and Yasiel Puig”. Most recently, he helped Preller build a potential World Series team in San Diego, adding names such as Fernando Tatis Jr, Manny Machado, and many others.

White has been a multi-faceted executive, handling duties for player personnel, pro scouting, drafting, trading, and international signings. The type of versatile acquisitions that White has made make him an intriguing addition for an Angels team that needs help up-and-down the organization. White’s track record shows a guy who has been able to impact the entire organization, from top-to-bottom, and that makes him an appealing GM candidate.

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HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
3 years ago

I was wrong about Eppler. While I still like some of his moves – far too many big misses. I still think he inherited such a mess – but he didn’t get it done. I do hope they pick someone considered a top talent evaluator, and if not, Trevor Bauer’s best friend. Hopefully the all in pitching draft with Kochanovicz and company pans out some in the next two years. Hopefully Eppler found a diamond or two in that group.

FungoAle
Super Member
3 years ago

Hard pass on Byrnes. Reason: track record. That simple. Failed hard in SD.

Guest
3 years ago

Hiring a guy with the nickname Dumbo is about as bad as having Buttercup as a 7th inning stretch song.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to 

I’ve never heard that nickname before CTPG.

I think someone here came up with it, and it doesn’t fit at all. The guy is clearly NOT dumb.

Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

Agreed. His MO in assembling a winner however, does not a sustainable franchise make. Consider the development timeline of the new stadium and surroundings; long-term, perhaps providing a certain percentage of additional annual resources to the team. A matching long-term philosophy in team building and management would be most appropriate.

On the other hand, Arte may not have that much longer to enjoy a title; so “Win One For the Billboard King” may be the emphasis. In that scenario, DD and AM may be a match.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
Reply to  JackFrost

To quote the great 20th century intellect Forrest Gump:

Stupid is as stupid does

VictoriousVIC
Trusted Member
3 years ago

I’m in the same boat as the majority of this thread. My dream would be hiring a President of Baseball Operations like Josh Byrnes, then have Josh Byrnes completely overhaul the front office and hire a VP of Baseball Ops, GM, and scouting/player development guys. Of course I think Arte would never go for that as it takes too much power from him and he would have to spend more money in the front office which he does the complete opposite of.

Someone mentioned it already but I think the best case scenario is Arte hires Dave Dombrowski. If this happens Dave would surely only come here if he’s given full autonomy to assemble his own front office and make his own decisions. Peter Gammons even tweeted that Dave isn’t too convinced to go to the Angels because of Arte’s meddling. It would also force Arte to give him the President of Baseball Ops title, therefore expanding the front office which desperately needs it. I do believe Dave is the only guy that can accomplish this. And hey we will probably have a very nice 2-3 year window and hope to win one World Series in between like the Red Sox. At least that will give Trout a ring, even if it means being in complete rebuild mode after.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  VictoriousVIC

I agree with this. Dumbo is probably the only one with the cache to insist on his terms and Arte might just cowtow to them. No way that Dumbo agrees to take the job with the current configuration.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fansince1971
Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Cowtow to cache, hmmm. No. 😊

VictoriousVIC
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Plus Arte wants proven winners. The list has execs filled with success, World Series success. Dumbo is the only one who did it on his own twice so I do think Arte might give in to giving Dumbo full power if he’s that desperate for him to run the show and take us to the promise land.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  VictoriousVIC

The other thing is that Arte could give him a shorter deal, like 3 years.

If DD gets it done, he could thank him for his service and then move back to a young guy he can control and start a rebuild in earnest. In this scenario you’d be bringing DD for one thing and one thing only: the Ring!

My precious!!

Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

You hit my soft spot… raw fish.

Guest
3 years ago

Hire White, has John Wayne Grit and looks a little hung over in the photo. Also, steal the best analyst(s) from other teams and pay them instead of Diamond Dave Dombrowski.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago

Also keep in mind that just because someone comes from a thoroughbred winning organization doesn’t always mean success. ( All those Bill Belichick asst coaches take a bow! Charlie Weiss former Notre Dame coach…ugh!, Matt Patricia just terrible in Detroit right now!, Scott Pioli former KC Chiefs GM came from the Patriots ) Dean Taylor former GM of the Milwaukee Brewers in the late 90’s and early 2000’s came from the 1990’s Atlanta Braves dynasty under John Schuerholz. A unsuccessful bomb there. Sometimes just culture and environment matter too.

hockey_duckie
Member
3 years ago

The author wrote:

 After years of reckless spending and a deliberate win-now approach, Angels fans likely aren’t dying for a repeat of Jerry Dipoto/Tony Reagins.

Wait. Why isn’t Eppler in that group? Reckless spending that has lead to five consecutive years of under .500 play. Remember J-Up is still with us. We also had to package away our 2019 first round pick to help trade away a salary dump. There is a reason why you wrote this article about potential GMs to become the next Angels GM. Why is that reason again?

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago

Which is why I wanted to make a fanpost back at HH
I was going to state that Disney was better than Arte ( They were in fact, that was the point in this organization’s time when the baseball operations side was never better! ).
And yes amazingly some members and writer’s actually said Arte was better than Disney.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  2002heaven

Disney was ‘better’ only in that they realized they needed baseball people to run the Organization and left scouting, development and most decisions to them.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Well Disney didn’t slash and gut the scouting & player development infrastructure either the way Arte has. Just because Arte signed some big name players to FA contracts ( Vladdy, Colon, CJ Wilson, Pujols, Hamilton, Rendon and then giving Mike Trout a huge long term deal ) doesn’t mean they were done to win. Arte is actually making way more since 2011 ( Fox Sports West TV contract deal then in the 2000’s when they were actually good and competitive!!!  😮  😫  ) Donald Sterling lives on!!! 😥 

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  2002heaven

That’s my point. Disney knew to leave baseball to the baseball people

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  2002heaven

Speaking of HH…

You reminded me it still exists, sort of, so I just took a look. They’ve gone intermittent. No use writing articles for no one to read.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago

Barely…….kind of like the Angel’s scouting and player development.
Community College Bookstore ( never have set hours only before the start of the semester with unpaid volunteers working ) or the side of a RV at a Walmart parking lot every Tuesday morning with plastic outdoor stacking chairs? 😎 

Warfarin
Trusted Member
3 years ago

I hope Arte ultimately decides to hire someone to be President of Baseball Operations, not just a GM.

A number of these great candidates would likely only jump ship for a position like that, where they can be the one in charge and build a front office infrastructure to their liking.

I can only hope Arte moves in that direction. My vote would be for Josh Byrnes, who has worked very closely with Friedman for a number of years.

Look at the WS – the Dodgers and Rays. Friedman is great at what he does, and I want Arte to hire someone who has worked closely from him and learned a lot.

We’ll likely have to wait another 2 weeks or so before we find out I guess, but here’s hoping the time they spend on the process leads to a good result.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Warfarin

wish I could find this thing I read today. The Angels’ search might last until Thanksgiving.

Warfarin
Trusted Member
3 years ago

Yeah, I saw that one. It’d seem foolish to do that, IMO, given that it’d provide the new President/GM very little time to assemble their staff and make a run at certain FAs.

Arte really needs to have this done about a week or so after the end of the WS, not a month later.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

Maybe (and this is only because I’m a shameless optimist) it will take that long because they are making multiple hirings and building a baseball organization to run the team while he focuses on real estate development.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Or maybe Arte really wants somebody from either the Dodgers or Rays and can’t interview them yet.

Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Another reason not to hire Dombrowski, who would trade Adell and Marsh to Bosox for Sale (pun intended).

Last edited 3 years ago by pseudagm
gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Do you feel like these GM options sound good, but still feel it’s all just a pipe dream, even if we get one of these guys, because Arte still owns the team? Are you rending your blouse with sorrow because the Angels don’t list a big pile of names on their website for player development? Does Arte only care about tickets and not wins? Do you think maybe he, along with his cabal of friends who are richer and thus better than you, is laughing at you right now? Do you think maybe you should eat a gun, become a Dodgers fan, or both? Is your sack the saddest sack?

Why bother actually discussing the pros and cons of these various candidates? Just declare that they are either not coming here because Arte or that it won’t matter if they do cause Arte. Can you say basically these same things the same way? Can you read the same thing said the same way several times and then say it the same way yourself?

We are interested. Please comment below.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

Extremely dark – ‘eating a gun’?

Any of these guys would be fine. I don’t have a preference. It will always be the same until there is Organizational change. Insert GM – any GM – it won’t matter.

Warfarin
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

Unfortunately, this is my fear.

I don’t mind Arte being involved to some degree, because he really wants to win. But he is a business man, and any successful business man should know the importance of delegating tasks to those that he hires and placing trust in those executives to get their jobs done.

Arte is a smart man. He has money. He just needs to look at other successful FO infrastructures and try to mimic what he sees. The A’s, Rays, etc – he can mimic their FOs, but spend considerably more payroll money than them, which would give him an advantage.

IMO – hire Byrnes as President. Invest heavily and deeply in the FO, scouting, and analytics. Let him hire his contingency to fill out the FO, which will probably consist of a good chunk of current Dodger executives. Bring the Dodgers’ model over to us, and watch Trout be involved in deep playoff runs in 2 years max.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
Reply to  Warfarin

With all due respect, what evidence is there that Arte really wants to win? Signing big $$ free agents? Giving Trout generational wealth?

Arte is a smart man. He has money. He just needs to look at other successful FO infrastructures and try to mimic what he sees.

If the first sentence of the quote above were true, would the third sentence even need to be said in year 17 of his ownership tenure?

Warfarin
Trusted Member
3 years ago

I guess I can’t know for sure, but he does spend $$ on the team, and a lot of reports indicate he is very desperate to win. But, sure – those reports could be wrong, who knows.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Warfarin

Being desperate to win and going about it the right way are two different questions. The first does not necessarily entail the second.

I have no doubt that Arte wants to win. But I think he is sabotaged by his own ego.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

This. Arte definitely wants to win. But he also wants to win his way and be the guy who makes the big signing to send the Angels over the top.

Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

He also said “maybe I should fire myself”. Does that sound like someone who now recognizes his limitations (at least until he gets another crush on a player, see A. Rendon). Combine that with Carpino’s “something wrong” quote, maybe there’s hope for less meddling.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago

getting a “guy who worked for Beane” or a “guy who worked for Epstein” will probably give us the same result as a “guy who worked for Cashman”.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

An interesting exercise is to compare the Angels Organization chart on MLB.com and the Dodgers.

The Angels list the following individuals:

Arte and Carol Moreno – Owners
Dennis Kuhl – Chairman
John Carpino – President
Dana Wells – Executive VP
Molly Jolly – Sr. VP Finance and Administration

There are no baseball operations individuals listed. None. Zero. These folks are all focused on ticket sales and marketing and revenue development. Wells and Jolly are purely marketing and ticket sales people.

The Dodgers list over 60 employees under “Baseball Operations” below President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. All of them to a person are baseball people. The Organization separates the baseball side of things from the business side of things.

Just to be fair, I then checked the Cardinals Organization which lists 40 Baseball Operations employees below John Mozeliak the President of Baseball Operations.

Folks, this isn’t even a fair fight. I had no idea it was this lopsided. There is simply no comparison. The Angels are focused solely on ticket sales and marketing. Player scouting and development is not even a consideration except maybe with lip service. By comparison, the teams they are playing against are Organizations focused on scouting and player development with a team of bright young baseball minds.

I can just imagine the difference between a baseball conversation in an Organization like the Dodgers and Cardinals versus the Angels. The former would actually be about baseball. The latter about how to market and fan experience.

If I were a young, upward baseball executive, I would not even consider this job. It is a set-up for failure.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fansince1971
steelgolf
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

If Arte moves Kuhl, Carpino, and himself over to the development company and hire baseball guys to run the team, then that should keep Arte and Co. busy for at least the next 5 years developing and marketing the land around the stadium for the various projects to where they won’t have the time to meddle in the baseball affairs.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  steelgolf

We can only hope! I thought of this too but its such a pipe dream to think that his Franchise could be run like a baseball team rather than a marketing company.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  steelgolf

I like this steelgolf!!!

It allows Arte to keep his crew of old/time college buddies onboard and employed while simulataneously potentially handing over baseball operations to folks who are actually qualified.

We can dream, right?

steelgolf
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

I hope they do this as the development company and building out the land is more in their wheelhouse, with signage, marketing, etc. Arte wouldn’t have the time to be as involved in the baseball operations.

Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  steelgolf

Rec’d. If the MLB reporting is accurate, this may be more or less the direction, along with an emphasis on scouting and development. If Carpino’s “something not right” statement doesn’t result in a strategic change, well we already know what’s not right, don’t we?

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

In my opinion this reveals Arte’s viewpoint on the (lack of) importance of baseball operations and the primary importance of marketing and ticket sales.

If you dig deeper (as I am sure you did with your excellent article) the Angels “operations” are barren by comparison. Its basically a GM and some scouts. Nothing compared to the really good teams who have invested and gone all-in on scouting and player development.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

Completely, 100% agree. He came from a great organization with excellent communication skills. He then tried to make it work within the parameters he was given which is essentially being set up for failure. Not to say he doesn’t bear some of the blame – he does. But Arte has done little to set the Organization for consistent success.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

Neether wus Jerry DiPoto.
He too had to work for Arte and SCIOSCIA apparently. Arte is a Jerry Jones and Al Davis wannabe from time to time, and he has no intention of being like the late Laker’s owner Jerry Buss ( just sign the paychecks and get out of everybody’s way ). Either that or he’s just in it for the money and nothing else. Billy Eppler just wasn’t any good at his job ( sucked at young talent evaluation and selecting good FA’s ).

h27kim
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

And these few scouts were furloughed. Honestly, I don’t know if Arte cares about baseball side of things at all.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  h27kim

If you read things Arte says to media and in interviews it is clear that not only does he care about the baseball side of things, but that he sees himself as an astute judge of talent.

This is problematic in that his ego leads him to exercise that presumed knowledge in making baseball decisions for the Angels.

Does he have a right to do it? Yes. That does not mean he should do it or that it is good for the organization. Warfarin’s point about delegating duties is an important one.

h27kim
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

This is a critical point. While Kershaw and Betts may be the biggest and most expensive names on Dodgers’ roster, they are just icing on the cake that is their entire organization which is deep and filled with ppl who may not be so well-compensated, but, are very competent at filling their roles. Ditto with the Ray’s, except they can’t afford the icing, but that’s fine b/c they have a similar roster and it’s the roster depth that wins baseball games.

Compare them to us, and, well, we have plenty of icing, but nothing like their roster depth. No surprise that we are not winning games, and as you observe, it takes people, a lot of ppl with exp and competence, to fill out the rosters. Signing the big stars only contributes marginally to winning games, but they are primarily a marketing decision. I don’t think anything illustrates the problem with the Angels better than what you point out: this is a team built by marketing ppl who know nothing of baseball and who don’t care. Nothing can change until and unless they actually care about baseball and not just marketing.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  h27kim

I think Arte ‘cares’ about baseball but only in the sense that he views it as central to his marketing campaigns. So big name players are important. I think he would love to win, (and his investments are for that purpose) particularly since he could then raise ticket prices and market the heck out of the team.

Arte’s failure is not recognizing his shortcomings and being willing to delegate. I’m not even sure ‘delegate’ is the right word. He needs to realize that even though he is the owner, he (and Kuhl and Carpino) know nothing about baseball- I mean zero. They are excellent businessmen and wonderful marketers and brand builders, but they do not know one lick about baseball operations (other than maybe what they surmise from their considerable mistakes).

What Arte needs to learn is he needs to stay the F out of baseball operations. Basically everything he has touched has turned out poorly. We need contrition from Arte – he needs to give up and decide to wash his hands of hands-on involvement.

I could easily argue that Arte cares too much about baseball. His weakness seems to be not realizing he and his marketing team are the problem. He needs an ‘aha! moment’ which includes realizing the team needs baseball operations and, finally, turn over the reigns on everything except money and budgets.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  h27kim

I don’t agree with most people on this blog about how good we are.
Trout, Rendon, Fletcher……and? We don’t have a Lucas Giolito or Max Fried, no Liam Kendricks, no Fernando Tatis Jr, and for those of you who still insist on a catcher, no Will Smith. 😣  😥  We’re not that close to being competitive at all even with those 3 guys ( rendon is 30 and trout’s 29 BTW ).

Jessica DeLine
Admin
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Stirrups and I each brought this up on the old site. The Angels used to list their full front office staff on their website and pulled it a few years ago. But not before we did some comparisons and showed how much leaner the Angels Front office and medical teams run compared to the rest of the teams in the league. It’s a tight ship for sure. Not sure why they pulled them all off the site – maybe to hide the fact that they have one of the leanest front offices in baseball? Might deter people from wanting to go work there if they have to work 5 times as hard due to staff shortages.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Jessica DeLine

That Organization is leaner today that it was then. It’s endlessly frustrating.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago

Josh Byrnes and Logan White aren’t coming here…..quit fantasizing about it
They already are fully aware of The Swamp at 2000 E Gene Autry Way. Besides the only ex Dodger exec who ever came to the Angels was Buzzie Bavasi.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
Reply to  Brent Maguire

They have great jobs now, going to work for Arte would be a demotion. It’s like running out of options and being sent to the minors.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

Depends on personal aspirations. There are only 30 MLB GM positions. Getting to that level seems more difficult than staying on it sometimes, based on the number of retreads.

If you move here and get the Angels some success you look like a genius. If you come here and fail you can point to the meddling owner who constantly blows the budget and doesn’t invest in scouting.

h27kim
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

If Arte meddles as much as he is reputed to, I don’t think these folks would consider Angels’ position a “real” GM. You don’t have authority, you don’t have personnel, you don’t have resources. You are just a glorified go-for for Arte and the gang. No matter who’s brought in, they should demand autonomy and resources as precondition. The pessimist in me says Arte and the gang won’t give in so they’ll hire some youngish person whom they can badger and bully, and we’ll be back where we were with DiPoto and Eppler.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  h27kim

This is likely what will happen.

If a newbie comes on board as “GM” we’ll hear a collective “oh no here we go again” on CTOG.

hockey_duckie
Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

It’s a win-win situation when you put it that way.

a. If the Angels are successful, then you pad your books.
b. If the Angels are not successful, then you can point the bad pattern in existence with a meddling owner not leaving baseball stuff to baseball people, which includes a preference for hitters over pitchers. Also, Eppler left the farm team barren for the next GM.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
3 years ago

This issue of who comes aboard is great stuff to talk about, but as I have posted many times even if you choose the perfect candidate all iss moot if you do not clean house completely from top down and hire all new to implement a whole new winning formula. And of coarse Arte gets to say how much the team spends. We need Bauer and one other very good starter. Revamping a whole system is going to take 3 years to start showing results and Arte will not see that is progress as he is clueless. Arte may not want to see what can happen when cleaning house and his cronies are cut loose. This team just needs to pull the trigger and hire Byrnes or White and Arte stand back and watch and stay out of it and look smart. But sadly it won’t happen as Arte does not think with a Frampton mind “Show me the way” but Artie will not turn over control and remember he has not led us to anything resembling a World Series appearance ever, not even once in 18 seasons. Is it not time for a change Arte? Think like this Arte, 4 million makes more money than 3 million, one title whether league or MLB makes you a celebrity the just waiting around trying hard to look important.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
Reply to  Brent Maguire

Baseball FO jobs are a fraternity. The first call any candidate would likely make is to Eppler and DiPo to get their perspectives.

Not good.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago

Outside of Dombrowski, who has to be the favorite here, this list indicates a desire to build talent from within. Great concept if Arte will actually invest in scouting and player development, something he’s been loathe to do over the years. In fact, do we even have any scouts after the pre draft purge?

A bloated payroll and bad farm is what Dombrowski would inherit. So if when he leaves we’re likely back to where we are now. The question is how much would the Angels win under him?

I’d love a Byrnes as baseball ops and White or Owens as GM set up. Byrnes has been groomed for the job and you just can’t overlook the talent amassed by the other two. Stealing Owens from a division rival gives him a little leg up for me.

Byrnes can make some win now moves like signing some pithing and trading Adell or Marsh while Owens/White rework the farm. Get a pitching staff in place for the next 3 years to give Owens/White time to accumulate enough talent to make a difference.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

How do you get Arte to buy into Organizational hires and triple down on scouting instead of just searching for and hiring a GM? The answer is, you don’t. He thinks he can run the baseball ops and just needs a GM so that he, Arte, doesn’t need to be bothered by all those pesky telephone calls about players.

As long as Arte sees no difference between himself and a guy like Friedman, the team is destined to mediocrity with a bloated payroll.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fansince1971
Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Arte has a serious Jerry Jones streak in him. And he’s backed himself into a bit of a corner. Waiting to rebuild the farm means the window for Trout and Rendon’s primes closes. Continuing down this path leads to lots of losing.

At a certain point either Arte realizes his current way doesn’t work or dooms the franchise as long as he owns it. I keep waiting for that moment of realization, really thought he had it after Dipoto embarrassed the franchise, but it might not happen.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Jerry Jones is actually a pretty good owner comp for Arte.

The main difference of course is that Jerry has won before, though it was quite a long time ago, and it was of course with all the pieces Jimmy Johnson had acquired, many of them through the spectacular Herschel Walker trade.

Where you hit the nail on the head is that both these owners are their own worst enemies. It can be summarized in one word : ego.

Both Arte and Jerry think they know more than they do about their respective sports. Both value offense and flash and big splash over defense and stopping the other team from scoring. They both are among the most meddlesome owners in pro sports (Jerry being perhaps the worst, historically speaking). Interestingly, Jerry is probably less meddlesome than Arte, as he has entrusted his son Stephen when it comes to many decisions (at least their is some sort of team-work there) on draft etc. For example, Jerry notoriously desperately wanted to draft Johnny Manziel, who we know was a train-wreck waiting to happen. But Stephen talked Jerry out of it and they instead took OG Zack Martin from Notre Dame who became a Pro-Bowler and one of the best at his position in all of the NFL.

I don’t think Arte has a “right hand man” whom he trusts who can at least counteract his misguided instincts. This is why since Stoneman had the job he has brought in young, relatively inexperienced GM’s that would not stand up to him. Of course Dipo left on his own, so I guess that in a sense was standing up to Arte, or at least refusing to be continually emasculated by the tag-team of Arte/Sosh.

My hope is that Arte has finally seen the error of his ways and is ready to pull back a bit. The big money decisions/signings will of course be his, but if he at least stays out of the other stuff, the everyday stuff and small to mid-range acquisitions we could view that as a victory. This is why I actually am hoping for Dombrowski. Number one, surely DD won’t take the job without some assurance of autonomy. Number two, I actually think DD’s short-term, immediate success approach is what is needed now. As much as we do need to rebuild the farm and develop a pitching pipeline I would be willing to put that project off for 2-3 years in the hopes of making a run now, with prime Trout, Rendon and Ohtani. The construction of the current roster calls for a “win now” approach.

If we are fortunate enough to achieve that to some degree we could then look to move assets and rebuild in earnest (with a focus on the farm). I just don’t feel like 2021-2022 is the time to do that though.

Last edited 3 years ago by JackFrost
Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

Agreed. The next 3 years are the prime “win now” years for Trout and Rendon. Ohtani and Fletcher are still quite affordable during that time too. Hopefully Walsh and Stassi are real players.

Getting a “win now” GM makes sense. Sign Stroman, flip Adell or Marsh for pitching, lock in the MLB level team core for a couple of years and really go for it.

Thing is if the MLB team is largely in place, talent has the time to be drafted and developed. Hiring scouts and improving player development would help keep the team from falling off a cliff as the core ages.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Worrying about Trout winning a WS probably ain’t happening.
Unless he doesn’t play on another playoff team past 35 then probably another 2014 playoff appearance is all he might get to.
A true WS caliber team takes 5 yrs to build from scratch or near scratch.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  2002heaven

We’re not starting “from scratch,” lol.

h27kim
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

Also, let’s not forget the nice job DD did with the Marlins fire sale. FWIW, that laid the foundation for another WS run just a few years later. That, at least as much as the skill at building a winner, is something that I appreciate. And yes, that he is a big name who can put Arte in his place better than the talented but young GMs who could be browbeaten.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

Arte isn’t as bad as JJ in Dallas……BTW he’s looking pretty stupid right now with Mike McCarthy as the new coach there…LOL!!! 😆 
Arte doesn’t get involved in the MLB Drafts, however he did nix the Joc Pederson & Ross Stripling deal back in March, and he won’t pay a huge money deal to a pitcher ( Zack Grienke & Gerritt Cole take a bow! ). JJ is the owner/GM in Dallas ( handles the NFL Draft, signs the FA’s, hires the head coaches and probably has a big say in assistant coaching hires too. ).

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  2002heaven

Yes, I know Jerry is the GM. But that does not mean he makes all player personnel decisions. As I stated above he puts a lot of trust in Stephen. And I know more about it than you do.

At the end of the day he of course has the final say, but at least there is a close working relationship with Stephen. And he does give in on things at times.

I doubt Arte would ever give in to his GM on a major decision. He’s calling the shots. That is the way it has been.

The question now is whether or not he’s ready to change. Odds are probably on “no”, but I think we do have reason for hope. Now we would be a good time for some Moreno self-reflection, and an accompanying change of behavior. It is not outside the realm of possibility.

Last edited 3 years ago by JackFrost
Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

This is what I am hoping for but I am afraid it is a complete pipe dream.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

Exactly. I go to Spring Training year after year and the amount of talent on the back fields in places like LA, SD, and Oakland is noticeably higher than at Tempe. As is the number of coaches and people in polo shirts grooming that talent.

The Angels need far more than a GM. They need an entirely new baseball operations department.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Wait…. is this a call for MOAR POLO SHIRTS?!? Si senor!

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

Funny – this reminds me of our many exercises over the last few years where we try to fix the Angels over the off- season.

Much like the pitcher exercise, one person is not going to fix this. What the Angels need is a completely different organizational philosophy focused on scouting and player development. The Dodgers and Cardinals are examples of the consistency that can be achieved with an organization focused on reaping the benefits of finding talent and developing it.

The old Owner-GM-Manager organization system is flawed, particularly with a non-baseball, non-scouting, free-agent owner who meddles. It simply doesn’t work. Owners are rich guys who typically have egos and think they know more than they do. They don’t belong in baseball operations. .

Look at the titles of some of the candidates – ‘Senior VP of baseball operations’ – NOT ‘GM’. Those titles reflect an organizational commitment to a scouting, management and development team where money is spent on the organization. That is completely different than the Angels.

The team needs to higher 3 or 4 of these guys on the list and create an infrastructure. It needs to invest in scouting and player development which Arte has cut drastically. It needs a head of baseball operations who is in control (like Friedman) and Arte needs to stay away.

It is not enough to talk the talk regarding scouting and player development. It takes major investments and a long term commitment. It requires a team of baseball minded folks running the scouting, organization and management. Will Arte be willing to do that? I doubt it.

Without such a commitment the Angels rely on luck that a certain combination of free agents and existing players will be successful. Compare that to the consistency of a deep organization that provides new developed players yearly and which can be ocassionally supplemented by free agents. The first approach requires catching lightening in a bottle. The second provides consistently good teams (like the Dodgers and Cardinals).

So – if I were to get my wish, the search right now would NOT be for a GM but for several key hires to provide the foundation of an Organization. The team needs smart, focused baseball people who are committed first to scouting and development. Arte needs to pay for it and then get out of the way.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fansince1971
rez2405
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Then its settled:

Josh Burns president of baseball ops
Logan White as VP of baseball ops
Jarred Porter as GM

Done 🙂

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  rez2405

I like this! 😃

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  rez2405

If only it were that easy, lol.

h27kim
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

I miss Disney.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  h27kim

I miss Disney only in that Eisner realized his shortcomings, built an Organization and allowed it to operate as a baseball team with investments in scouting and player development. He stayed away except on certain monetary decisions.

I did not like Disney’s marketing part though – trying to tie the team to movies and characters. And building that monstrosity rock pile in center field.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
Reply to  Fansince1971

Hated the rock pile and waterfall. It was not nearly as bad as the “exploding fish disaster” in Miami…..

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

The leftover pieces from Thunder Mountain Railroad had to go somewhere.

Rock pile is nowhere near as bad as the periwinkle uniforms.

Mia
Legend
Mia
3 years ago

I’d try a guy who worked for Friedman or a guy who worked for Beane.

But none of it matters if Arte gets final say.

AnAngelsFan
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Mia

Then I guess none of it matters.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
Reply to  AnAngelsFan

In the name of desperation
In the name of wretched pain
In the name of all creation
Gone insane

We’re so fucked
Shit outta luck
Hardwired to self-destruct

Mia
Legend
Mia
3 years ago
Reply to  AnAngelsFan

Nothing really matters, anyone can see.

hockey_duckie
Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Mia

Nothing really matters… except more money for Arteeeeee….

Any way the wind blows ::: dramatic end :::

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
Reply to  hockey_duckie

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Guest
3 years ago

Reminds me of the old Pink Floyd movie.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to 

!!!!

Last edited 3 years ago by JackFrost
JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago

Yeah!!! “Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii.”

Good choice Blutarsky.