The Los Angeles Angels are likely to make major changes to their front office after the season. That means a big name could come in to take over baseball operations.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Angels’ general manager position is highly likely to open up at the end of the season. Current GM Billy Eppler has failed to being the Angels back into contention. The team has not finished above .500 in any of his five seasons at the helm despite boasting Mike Trout in the middle of the lineup.
Sherman says former Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski’s name has come up “voluminously” in relation to the potential Angels opening. Dombrowski is a win-now executive who is unafraid to trade prospects for proven talent. That philosophy aligns with that of owner Arte Moreno. Dombrowski’s friend Tony La Russa is a senior advisor with the club as well.
Dombrowski has not had a job within Major League Baseball since he was abruptly fired by the Red Sox last September. He has most recently been working with a group aiming to bring an MLB team to Nashville. However, he made clear to Sherman that he is not retired and would like to work within baseball again.
Dombrowski has a reputation for spending big and trying to win now at all costs. That could be very appealing to a team trying not to waste Trout’s prime.
A former Los Angeles Angels employee has been charged with distributing the fentanyl that contributed to the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs a little over a year ago.
Skaggs, who was 27, died after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room with fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system on July 1, 2019. A grand jury launched an investigation back in March into Skaggs’ death, and former Angels director of communications Eric Kay was charged on Friday with distributing fentanyl to Skaggs. Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times has more of the details.
From the affidavit in support of the complaint against Eric Kay: "It was later determined that but for the fentanyl in [Skaggs'] system, [Skaggs] would not have died."
Key paragraph in court documents regarding Eric Kay and Tyler Skaggs: Kay allegedly distributed pills to Skaggs and others "in their place of employment and while they were working." pic.twitter.com/BXaiqqsriF
Kay had previously admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. He also said two other former Angels employees knew about Skaggs’ drug use. The Angels released a statement on Friday saying an independent investigation showed that “no one in management was aware, or informed, of any employee providing opioids to any player, nor that Tyler was using opioids.
The Angels could have faced a significant fine if it was determined that they were aware of Skaggs using opioids. It’s unclear if the league also conducted an investigation and came to the same conclusion as the Angels.
Normally, a 3-6 start wouldn’t be the end of the world, but in a shortened season the reality is they need to get things turned around very quickly. Saturday’s comeback win over the Houston Astros could be a catalyst. It also helps that Maddon, ever the optimist, isn’t going to give up on his team publicly or privately at this point of the year either.
One of the big keys for the Angels will be getting Shohei Ohtani right on the mound after his poor start to 2020. If they can do even that much, they still have a chance to turn things around, but it has to happen fairly quickly.
The postponement of the MLB season has created many obstacles that the league will have to overcome, but it may actually be benefitting the Los Angeles Angels’ pitching staff.
Both Shoehei Ohtani and Griffin Canning have been rehabbing from elbow injuries, and all indications are that they are progressing nicely. On Tuesday night, Canning shared a video on his Instagram story that revealed he has been cleared to resume bullpen sessions.
Some actual baseball news: per his Instagram story, Griffin Canning has been cleared to start throwing bullpens. He today posted some footage of him throwing at Angel Stadium. pic.twitter.com/4ODqOcSijz
Griffin was diagnosed with “chronic changes” to the UCL in his right elbow back in February. He has received injections and began throwing off flat ground last month. Throwing off a mount is the next step in his recovery process.
While no specific date has been set for Griffin’s return, he would have already missed a month of the regular season had it begun on time. The same is true of Ohtani, who has still been playing as a hitter but appears on track for a mid-May return as a pitcher.
Griffin, 23, made 17 starts for the Angels last season. He went 5-6 with a 4.58 ERA.
The Los Angeles Angels on Thursday fired longtime team employee Bubba Harkins, allegedly for providing illegal substances that could be used to doctor baseballs.
The Angels confirmed the firing but did not share more details for legal reasons, according to The Los Angeles Times’ Maria Torres.
Harkins began with the team as a batboy in 1981 and has been a clubhouse attendant since 1986.
The timing and reason for the firing makes some sense.
Though the use of foreign substances by pitchers is against the rules, the practice has become increasingly common and accepted throughout the game. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer recently estimated that 70 percent of pitchers doctor the ball.
The Los Angeles Angels seemingly had a chance to pull off a trade to land two solid pieces without giving up much, but were the ones who backed out of that opportunity.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Angels, not the Los Angeles Dodgers, were the team that pulled the plug on a proposed deal that would have seen them acquire Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling for infielder Luis Rengifo. This apparently happened because Angels owner Arte Moreno grew impatient over the delay in the Mookie Betts trade, and the Dodgers did not feel strongly enough about the deal to try to revive it.
More on #Angels–#Dodgers, from sources: LAA’s Moreno grew impatient, pulled deal. Might have revived, but LAD saw it as unneccesary after other two trades changed. Outside chance gets revisited. Per @billplunkettoc, LAD needs to drop two from 40-man before trades become official.
It’s understandable why Moreno would have grown frustrated with how slowly things were going, but it seems rather pointless to have pulled out. If it’s true that he could have had the deal done by now had he just sat tight, it’s just a very strange series of decisions.
While Stripling may not mind what happened, it still makes sense for both him and Pederson to be shopped around. It would save the Dodgers money, and neither player has a clear role on the team in 2020. Don’t be surprised if Pederson’s name in particular is the subject of more trade rumors in the days to come.
The Mookie Betts trade was supposed to be part of a series of deals, but one key one has fallen through after all.
Earlier in the week, when it appeared that the Los Angeles Dodgers were poised to acquire Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox, they had a deal that would send Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Los Angeles Angels. On Sunday, the Dodgers completed a deal for Betts, but according to Ken Rosenthal, the trade with the Angels is off.
The Betts deal had to be restructured after the Red Sox took issue with the medicals on prospect Brusdar Graterol. Thanks to that, the Angels are now going to miss out on two key players they thought they’d be getting.
The Angels were in on Gerrit Cole, but were unwilling to outbid the New York Yankees and ultimately signed Anthony Rendon instead. The trade market may be more their speed, and they’d have a hard time doing better than a two-time Cy Young winner in Kluber. However, there is uncertainty here, as Kluber is still recovering after fracturing his pitching arm last May. He hasn’t pitched since.
The Los Angeles Angels made a big free agent signing on Wednesday night, and they aren’t done yet this offseason.
The Angels reached agreement on a 7-year, $245 million deal with third baseman Anthony Rendon. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi says the Angels are also looking to add a pitcher. He says Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Dallas Keuchel are among the pitchers they’re looking to sign. Colorado Rockies starter Jon Gray is also a pitcher they’ve sought in a trade.
Source: #Angels still planning to add a significant starting pitcher. They’re pursuing Bumgarner, Ryu or Keuchel in free agency or #Rockies RHP Jon Gray (among others) on trade market. @MLBNetwork@MLB
The Angels missed out on Gerrit Cole, as they and the Dodgers came behind the Yankees in the sweepstakes for the ace. Stephen Strasburg re-signed with the Nationals, and the Phillies added Zack Wheeler. The Dodgers and Angels still have an interest in improving their pitching and are both said to be looking at Bumgarner.
Ryu led the league with a 2.32 ERA last season for the Dodgers and was second in NL Cy Young voting. He’s 32 though and has a significant injury history, which may cause teams pause in signing him for big money.
The Angels have Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning and just traded for Dylan Bundy. They’re hoping to have Shohei Ohtani return from Tommy John surgery. They need some more pitchers who can slot in at the top of the rotation.
Anthony Rendon has a new team, and it’s the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels have reached a deal with Rendon on a 7-year contract worth $245 million, Jon Heyman first reported.
The contract is the same length and total money that Stephen Strasburg received from Washington, though the terms may be different (Strasburg’s contract contained significant amounts of deferred money).
Rendon, 29, was the No. 6 overall pick by the Nats in 2011 and made his MLB debut two years later. He has led the league in doubles two years in a row and drove in 126 runs last season, which also led the NL.
Rendon is a career .290 hitter with an .859 OPS. His postseason numbers are similar, as he’s a .282 hitter with an .848 OPS, which are good signs in case the Angels ever make the playoffs again.
The Angels traded away Zack Cozart this week, opening up a spot at third base that Rendon will now fill. He’ll team with Andrelton Simmons to give the Angels a stellar defensive left side of the infield.