The Los Angeles Angels hired Perry Minasian to serve as their general manager following the 2020 season. Things haven't turned around since Minasian was brought in, although I do believe he's done a nice job this offseason.
Before taking the Angels job, Minasian was an assistant GM to current Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos. Atlanta is an organization to model yourself after as they've been a model of consistency despite not going into the luxury tax every year like the Yankees and Dodgers.
Atlanta has dominated the NL East, winning five straight division titles. They won the World Series in 2021. The hope was that bringing someone like Minasian who was a key figure in that organization to Anaheim would help change things. A way for him to do that would be following what his former boss does.
Perry Minasian should take after his boss and figure out a way to sign players to team-friendly extensions
A way to compete year in and year out without breaking the bank is by signing your best players to team-friendly deals. Atlanta has been the model for that for years and made another excellent move last night.
The Braves traded for Sean Murphy who had three years of team control. Instead of letting him hit free agency, they signed him to a six-year $73 million dollar deal with a club option for the seventh year. Atlanta essentially bought out Murphy's prime years and by not signing him early, avoid having to pay him a ridiculous amount in free agency.
Murphy at just above a $12 million dollar AAV is a steal. He's one of the best catchers in baseball on a very team-friendly contract. He's just one of many Braves locked up for the long term. Look at this list.
Virtually the entire Braves core with the exception of Fried is locked up for multiple years on very team-friendly money. The key to doing this is taking a slight risk with players you believe in and buying out their prime. The Angels don't have many players they can do this with, but there're some who make sense.
Someone like Shohei Ohtani is not going to sign a team-friendly deal right now as he's a year away from free agency. Veterans like Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela won't either. Guys who don't have much service time but have shown flashes of brilliance are where we should be looking.
Patrick Sandoval has shown he can be a very good starting pitcher in this league. How about a six or seven-year extension for him? Reid Detmers had a fantastic season, do the Angels believe in him long-term? If Logan O'Hoppe comes up and rakes he could be another one.
Signing these players has some level of risk but the reward is extraordinary. If the player does struggle after the extension, it should be cheap enough to the point where it doesn't hurt too much. These cheap deals would help the Angels to build a competitive team around the likes of Trout and hopefully Ohtani without these insane decade-long deals. These cheap signings allowed Atlanta to sign Charlie Morton to a deal that pays him $20 million dollars annually. They're able to afford relievers like Raisel Iglesias and Collin McHugh to form one of the best 'pens in the game.
If Perry Minasian has players he believes will be good down the line, why not extend them now? The Braves have been able to avoid contracts like the Albert Pujols or Anthony Rendon deals because of these extensions. If it were me, I'd sit with Sandoval and Detmers right now and maybe even sit with O'Hoppe as well. It's the smart thing to do.