LA Angels' Manager Joe Maddon is one of the best managers in the game. There's no doubt about that, as very few in the game can match his resume. Maddon has three Manager of the Year awards, two pennants, and a World Series championship. He's obviously off to a great start in 2022 as well, which is his contract year.
The Halos are 15-8, and 2.5 games up on the second-place Seattle Mariners in the AL West. He's proved to be brilliant with lineup adjustments similar to the ones he was famous for in Chicago, as well as player development up and down the roster.
Surprisingly, however, NY Post/MLB Network MLB insider Jon Heyman has cause for concern over Maddon's job security. Heyman recently wrote a piece titled "Angels’ hot start doesn’t solidify Joe Maddon’s future in L.A."
Heyman isn't sold on Joe Maddon staying with the LA Angels.
Heyman cited some developments he has raised his eyebrows at as he's watched how certain LA Angels' moves could tease Joe Maddon's future with the club.
"The Angels deferred discussion of a new deal for him in winter with his MLB-high $12 million, three-year contract potentially expiring at year’s end and let go two of his closer coaches, Brian Butterfield and Bruce Hines," said Heyman.
First, of course they didn't discuss a new deal with him in the offseason. The Halos have remained bad with Maddon as manager leading up to this year. None of that is on Maddon of course, but it's worth not extending him before his contract is even up to see if managers of similar or better caliber are available by the time the season ends.
Then, if the Halos are still struggling at the end of 2022, they can simply let his contract expire and make an upgrade if it's out there.
Nobody expected Buck Showalter and Bob Melvin to be available this past offseason, yet they were. Nobody expected Tony La Russa to be available two offseasons ago, yet he was. Nobody expected Dusty Baker to be available the offseason prior to that, yet he was.
These are all managers of Maddon's caliber or better, and it goes to show that if a team isn't performing, it's worth checking out those options to try to give the club a fresh start. However, the team is performing very well right now, so the timing of Heyman's claim is far off.
Also, while he may have a point with Hines, Butterfield appeared to possibly have essentially fired himself by refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. However, Heyman didn't stop there.
"Bobby Valentine quietly was hired as an Angels postgame analyst, triggering manager-in-waiting speculation considering GM Perry Minasian’s dad Zack was Valentine’s clubhouse guy in Texas and right-hand man in Boston," said Heyman.
This is just laughable at this point. Valentine will not be the manager of the Angels next year. He isn't half the manager Maddon is, and isn't even as good as Maddon on Maddon's bad day. Valentine has one pennant, no championships, and no Manager of the Year awards in his entire 16-year managing career.
Perry's dad will not be enough to make Valentine, who fell on his face and was fired after one year in his last managing job, the manager of the Angels. Valentine has made the postseason a grant total of two times in 16 seasons.
In fairness to Heyman with all of this, he had mentioned that he's speaking as if Maddon misses the postseason.
However, if that's the case, where was this energy in the last two seasons and offseasons? Why is this coming out while the Halos are "off to an excellent start" as Heyman himself described it? The timing of this piece is perplexing, and looks to be a bit of a reach while the Halos are a top three team in their league.