After a long process, the Los Angeles Angels have announced that former Atlanta Braves Assistant General Manager Perry Minasian has been hired to fill the Angels’ GM vacancy.
The Angels went 46 days without a general manager. After the Angels fired Billy Eppler from the position, they were able to take their time and find a replacement they felt would be the best fit moving forward. The process began with around 20 candidates. Minasian was among five that advanced to the second round after the Angels had video conference interviews with each applicant. The others included Mariners’ assistant GM Justin Hollander, Cubs’ senior VP Jason McLeod, and Diamondbacks’ assistant GMs Jared Porter and Amiel Sawdaye. The Angels clearly felt Minasian was the best applicant to turn the organization around.
In the earlier stages of the process, established names such as Dave Dombrowski were floated as possible suitors for the position, but as the list of candidates became public, it was clear the Angels’ ownership wanted to go with a young up-and-comer, as no one interviewed had served in a general manager position before.
Minasian, who is 40 years old, has been a part of major league clubs since he was 22. He started as a scout with the Rangers, then spent 9 years serving a variety of roles within the Blue Jays front office, one of which being the Director of Professional Scouting, and finally held a Assistant General Manager position with the Braves for 3 years.
The scouting report on Minasian is definitely promising: “Outstanding with people. Excellent communicator. Connects with players, coaches, front office, old school scouts. Natural leader, stud evaluator.” The evaluator skills critique definitely has merit, as while with the Jays he was involved in acquiring Teoscar Hernandez from the Astros, and drafting Joe Biagini in the Rule 5 draft. While with the Jays, he was moved around the organization a lot, the reasoning behind it was described by Jays GM Ross Atkins, “We want him touching evening acquisition level more frequently form an evaluative standpoint. He’s exceptional at understanding the industry, knowing every single player that comes in and out of Major League Baseball, has a great feel for amateur, has some feel for international, certainly understands minor league baseball and has a great feel for the talent available. We felt like getting him out more and evaluating more that we could better gather information.”
With Minasian serving under GM Alex Anthopolous, the Braves have turned their organization into a perennial contender. The Angels are coming off their 5th losing season and are hoping that bringing someone with Minasian’s resume of success aboard with help turn that ship around.
There will be no honeymoon phase for Minasian, as the MLB offseason is officially underway. He is expected to get to work immediately. It is expected that he will look to prioritize pitching, while also looking to address the middle infield hole left by Andrelton Simmons. This free agency period is shaping up to be extremely interesting, as teams seem reluctant to hand out big money coming off a shortened season which resulted in sharp revenue decreases. The pitching market was already slim and has already gotten slimmer, as top names such as Marcus Stroman, Kevin Gausman, and Robbie Ray have all resigned with their former teams. However, some big names are still available in NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer, Charlie Morton, James Paxton, Corey Kluber, Jake Odorizzi, and Jose Quintana.
In any case, the Angels are only a few pieces away from playoff contention, and it will be interesting to see if Minasian has the chops to bid for these top players or maneuver trades without blowing up the farm system. If you do a quick Twitter search of Perry Minasian, you will see an abundance of former Jays and Braves writers congratulating the Angels on their fantastic hire. Angels fans should be very happy.