Angels: Why interviewing too many candidates for GM is bad process
By Daniel Preciado
The Angels need to be more selective in their GM search.
The Angels are in the process of finding themselves a new general manager to lead the front office to the promised land and the search has taken a bit longer than expected. After firing Billy Eppler from his post, it seemed at first as if the Angels would take a swift course of action in replacing him, but that has not been the case. The Halos and owner Arte Moreno have dragged this process out as long as humanly possible and while they might be doing so to ensure they make the correct decision, the way they are going about it is bad process.
While all the men the Angels have interviewed for the position have demonstrated exemplary skills in their respective tenures with teams all over the league, they simply are interviewing far too many. At one point in time, it was being reported that the Angels were talking to as many as fourteen (!) executives for their opening. For an opening as prestigious as a general manager slot, the Angels need to be more selective in who they interview. Former Miami Marlins general manager Michael Hill is a good start. Former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is another good candidate based on the extensiveness of his tenure. However, the Angels should only be looking at the cream of the crop to hire.
Many candidates that have been interviewed are not exactly sought after names in the industry and many have been highly ranked officials in front offices of long-time losing clubs. Why not ensure that you make a good hire of someone who has proven success in either winning titles or building up farm systems? The Angels’ prospect pipeline has been ranked as low as 17th in all of baseball, obviously showing room for improvement. The Angels have largely missed on top-flight international prospects over the past few seasons under Billy Eppler while the rest of the league supplements their systems that way. The Halos must usher in a new era of analytical baseball to keep up with the clubs like the Dodgers, Rays, and Astros who are perennial contenders because of their front office decision making.
While covering all their bases is a smart idea, interviewing only the cream of the crop is the best idea. Any candidate can interview well and wow ownership over in that way, but is it truly good process? The answer might be no. The Angels need to hire the best fit for the job and that needs to be a highly skilled analytics head with extensive tenure. If that candidate comes with a winning track record, that is a plus.
While the Halos seems to be interviewing some worthy candidates, they need to narrow down the field before they head into one of the most pivotal off-seasons in franchise history.