After the jester Tony Reagins was kicked out of the court weeks ago the Angels have been on a search for a new, competent GM to take his place. When that new GM settles into his/her kingdom of Anaheim they are going to have a lot of work to do. With a new job in place with a new organization it's no doubt they will want to make the biggest splash possible in order to let the rest of the baseball world that the Angels mean some serious business. What better way to make your mark on a new team than with the signing of one of the two biggest free agents in the past few years, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols.
Congratulations, Angel fans. The Angels got one right. According to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter, the Angels are set to name Arizona Diamondbacks executive Jerry DiPoto as their brand new general manager:
This news makes me very, very happy. OK, so DiPoto isn't Andrew Friedman, but this is probabaly the next best hire the Angels could have made. DiPoto is a former player, spent half a season as the interim GM of the D'Backs, currently serves as their senior VP of scouting and player development and is known to be at least open to sabermetric ways of thinking. In other words, he has experience in just about every facet of the game and a track record that proves he knows what he is doing, making him one of the most qualified and arguably safest hires out there.
The big questions he'll have to answer now is what his plan to fix the Angels roster will be as well as how he will collaborate with Mike Scioscia. That first question we can only speculate on. What we do know is that he is not afraid to make bold moves, as he demonstrated when he traded Dan Haren to the Angels. As for the Scioscia question, that's something that will take time to work out, but I definitely think it helps that DiPoto played in the big leagues and isn't some Ivy League nerd. I have to think that will buy him instant credibility with Sosh.
Finally, if I can offer DiPoto one piece of advice if he wants to win fans over on his hire, then this should be the first statement he utters at his introductory press conference, "Hi, my name is Jerry DiPoto. I am proud to be the new Angels general manager and I am even more proud to announce that Jeff Mathis has been non-tendered."
Welcome to the Halos, Jerry. Please try to not suck.
The October 28th, 2011 edition of daily news for the LA Angels including Trumbo's broken foot was actually hurt for several weeks, the myth of Donnie Moore's suicide, wondering if Angel fans can root for Nolan Ryan and against the Rangers at the same time and much more...
The Monkey Says: That would explain why he really fell of towards the end of the season, though it makes me wonder if the team knew about this and had him play through it. Not that it was the wrong call if the doctors said he can't make it worse, but there have a been a number of times the last few seasons an Angel player has hidden injury.
The Monkey Says: I'm not split at all, I want the Rangers to lose. I know Nolan Ryan was one of the greatest Angels, but when I was growing up, he had already left the Angels. I couldn't have been happier to see the Rangers choke twice in that epic game last night.
The Angels may not have a GM (yet) but that doesn't mean we can't get ready for the start of the off-season which is coming up fast. In order to help the new guy (or gal) out, the least I could do is come up with a bit of a primer on the viable free agent and trade targets that the future general manager might want to consider to plug in the many holes the Angel roster has. The Angels may seem like they have too many first base and designated hitter types already, but each of those players carries major risks and/or flaws. That could translate to the Angels deciding to make a "big splash" by bringining in a bona fide stud to man one of those spots. But who could they realistically get?
If you are going to dream, you might as well dream big.
The October 27th, 2011 edition of daily news for the LA Angels including Angels begin to narrow the GM search, Friedman still hasn't ruled himself out, Oppenheimer no longer a candidate and much more...
The Monkey Says: This is a bit surprising because Oppenheimer had been gaining steam in the media and was generally considered a more viable option than Eppler. At least the Angels are starting to cull the candidates now which should put them on track to make a hire in time for the start of free agency.
The Monkey Says: This is actually fairly important. There is no real reason for him to keep his name in the mix if he is just going to turn them down. The longer he delays an official decision, the more likely it becomes that he will jump ship to the Halos. Combine this story with the one about Eppler and it makes me wonder if maybe these are related developments. I'm sure this is just a wild conspiracy theory, but perhaps Friedman has already quietly decided to take the Angels' president job and the remaining interviews are for a GM that will work under Friedman. I mean, they haven't even interviewed all their candidates yet and still think they are going to make a hire in the next week. It just doesn't add up. Of course, this theory kind of falls apart because one would think Friedman would want to hand pick his GM and he can't really do that without being involved in the interviews.
The Angels may not have a GM (yet) but that doesn't mean we can't get ready for the start of the off-season which is coming up fast. In order to help the new guy (or gal) out, the least I could do is come up with a bit of a primer on the viable free agent and trade targets that the future general manager might want to consider to plug in the many holes the Angel roster has. To start things off, let's take a look at the catching market so that we can be done with this Jeff Mathis nonsense once and for all.
Yell all you want, Jeff, it isn't going to help you keep your job.
The October 26th, 2011 edition of daily news for the LA Angels including Halos hope to hire a GM by early next week, Friedman would be Angels GM but he probably won't leave Tampa, Minaya joins the GM contenders and much more...
(Editor's Note: Sorry for the lack of updates the last few days, been dealing with a sick kid and trying to talk myself into not killing myself now that the Rangers are one win away from a championship.)
The Monkey Says: The story suggests that they aren't done with interviews yet though which leads me to believe that they already have a favorite in mind, assuming they don't land Friedman. Stay tuned.
The Monkey Says: This is the first we've heard about Evans being a candidate, so he is yet another name to watch. I'm not crazy about what he did in his time running the Dodgers, but it would be interesting to see how having a guy who has worked in the front office and as an agent would work out, especially since he is currently Hank Conger's agent and must have a choice thing or two to say about how Mike Scioscia handles his catchers. As for Hahn, I'm not surprised he is a top candidate, but I don't know what that even means anymore since DiPoto, Oppenheimer, Evans and Hahn have all been called favorites thus far.