GM Minasian on offseason: 'Let's make this team better'

October 6th, 2022

ANAHEIM -- Angels general manager Perry Minasian said Thursday he expects it to be a normal offseason for the front office, despite the possible sale of the team.

Minasian, speaking to the media for the first time since Angels owner Arte Moreno said he was exploring the possibility of selling the team on Aug. 23, said he’s been given the freedom to improve the club like any other offseason. But he also indicated he had no inside information on how long the potential sale would take.

“For me, it's business as usual,” Minasian said. “So nothing changes. I know ownership still wants to put a good team on the field. And I expect us to improve significantly. Nobody is happy with how this year went, with where we ended up in the standings. But for me, at least, my day to day is the same. It’s about, ‘How can we make this team better?’”

The Angels ended their season on Wednesday, getting swept by the A’s in a three-game series to finish the year with a 73-89 record, despite having a payroll of roughly $188 million and superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on the roster. With Trout due to make $37.1 million, Ohtani set to earn $30 million and Anthony Rendon set to make $38.5 million, the Angels have $105.6 million committed to just three players in 2023. But Minasian said he believes that payroll isn’t an issue.

“I think it’s similar to how we've operated in the past,” Minasian said. “It's opportunities, right? So what opportunities are out there and what we feel like are the right moves, and we’ll present those opportunities to ownership. And again, I know for a fact that ownership is really competitive. They’re committed to putting a winning team on the field, just like they've always been. The problem hasn’t been financial. A lot of money has been invested here over the years. It’s on me. I have to build a better roster and make the players we have better.”

Minasian also added that the potential ownership change won’t preclude him from signing players to contracts beyond next season or acquiring players who would be under control beyond next year. He said adding to the club’s overall depth is a major priority this offseason, as he focused almost exclusively on pitching last offseason. The Angels’ pitching improved, but it left them without position player depth, and they couldn’t overcome injuries or slumps from their star players.

“I’ve done multiyear deals in the past that we felt were good opportunities at the time, and I don’t see that changing,” Minasian said. “The message I’ve gotten through the communication I’ve had is, ‘Let’s make this team better,’ which is music to my ears.”

Minasian also said he was pleased to bring back Phil Nevin as manager next year on a one-year deal, as it gives the organization some stability and Nevin is a strong communicator who has the respect of the players. But Minasian said that they haven’t decided the fate of the rest of the coaching staff. It’s something he’ll talk about with Nevin over the coming weeks.

“We’re going to really take our time,” Minasian said. “I definitely want Nev’s input, first and foremost -- he’s the manager. It’s something we’ll go through and get his take on things and make some decisions. But it’s tough. The work ethic of the whole group was outstanding.”