ANAHEIM -- Angels general manager Perry Minasian called Monday a tough day for the organization after the decision was made to not pick up manager Phil Nevin’s option for 2024.
Minasian, speaking to the media via Zoom on Tuesday, said the decision to part ways with Nevin came on Monday after meeting with owner Arte Moreno over the weekend. Nevin, 52, went 119-149 in parts of two seasons as manager and simply didn’t win enough despite having a strong relationship with the players.
“It was a tough decision to make, but it was something that we felt like needed to happen,” Minasian said. “We didn’t win enough games. And that's something that in sports, when you have certain expectations and you don't meet those expectations, you make changes. Does that mean Phil is to blame? He's not. No, it's all of us. Me, first and foremost. I have to do a better job putting this club together.”
Minasian said they are now in the process of analyzing the rest of the coaching staff, training staff and front office, but Nevin is the only person who has been dismissed so far. He also said the decision is so fresh, he hasn’t had time to come up with a list of potential replacements for Nevin and wouldn’t say if experience is something he values. Internal candidates are expected to include infield coach Benji Gil and bench coach Ray Montgomery.
“The decision was made yesterday, so I haven't had an opportunity to wrap my head around what's next, per se, but I’ll take the rest of the week to do that,” Minasian said. “We're going to go through the team like we normally do every offseason. We're going to go through coaching staff, we'll go through the medical staff, the strength and conditioning. We'll go through the support staff, player development and scouting, basically a full autopsy of the organization.”
It’s more turnover at the managerial position for the Angels, as whoever comes next will be their fifth manager since 2018. But Minasian said he doesn’t believe it’ll influence the managerial search because he thinks it’s a desirable job.
“I think this organization, if you look around, whether it's some of the impact players we have on the roster, whether it's the young core that's developed over the last year or two years, whether it's the fan base, which since I’ve been here I've realized is one of the most passionate and one of the better fan bases in all sports, I think it’s a very attractive job,” Minasian said. “I think it's a job that people would love to have and relish the opportunity to have.”
Minasian also added that the new manager won’t have to come in for a rebuild, as the Angels are still going to try to compete in 2024 in their attempt to make the postseason for the first time since 2014. Superstar Mike Trout remains under contract through 2030, although Shohei Ohtani is headed for free agency.
Minasian reiterated that trying to re-sign Ohtani is the club’s top priority this offseason and that the goal is to compete next year.
“I think [Moreno] is as motivated as anybody to put a good team on the field,” Minasian said. “I believe he did that this season. He really made a big investment in this club and did everything in his power. He gave me the opportunity to bring in a lot of different players and to take payroll to places that it's never been, and I appreciate that, but obviously it didn't work. And there's reasons for that. But ownership is very motivated to win and is always invested in this club.”
Minasian wouldn’t get into specifics on the managerial search just yet but did offer some qualities that he will be looking for in a manager.
Minasian, who is heading into the last season of his four-year deal, inherited Joe Maddon as skipper and hired Nevin last offseason after he served in an interim role. Nevin signed just a one-year deal with an option, but the new manager is expected to get a longer contract, as Nevin’s was unusual and came with the club up for sale at the time. But Moreno took the club off the market and will be involved in the managerial search with Minasian.
“I think there's general things you look for from a leadership level,” Minasian said. “Presence, respect, honesty, I think are probably right up there. And there’s obviously more to it. But those are generally things you’re looking for in a leadership role.”