'Ecstatic' Nevin signs one-year contract through 2023

October 5th, 2022

OAKLAND -- The Angels are bringing back Phil Nevin as their manager in 2023, as the club announced they signed him to a one-year deal for next season after he served as interim manager for 105 games.

Nevin was told by general manager Perry Minasian that he would remain manager in a meeting after Tuesday’s loss to the A’s. The news became official shortly before Wednesday’s season-capping 3-2 loss at the Coliseum, and Nevin was emotional in the dugout when asked about the mentors who helped him along the way before finally becoming a full-time Major League manager.

"I’m ecstatic," Nevin said. "Perry called me in [the office] last night and I was a little nervous. I’ve been called into that room before. But I thanked him. And I want to thank [owner] Arte [Moreno] and [club president John] Carpino and everyone involved with the Angels for entrusting me with this. It certainly means a lot. It wasn’t exactly how I envisioned these things happening, but I know I’ve been given a heck of an opportunity with some special people."

Nevin, who started the season as the club’s third-base coach, took over for Joe Maddon after he was dismissed on June 7, as the Angels were mired in a losing streak that ended up lasting 12 games. The Angels struggled early under Nevin, who also served a 10-game suspension for his role in a benches-clearing incident with the Mariners on June 26, but he settled into the role and the Angels played better over the last two months of the season. The Angels went 46-59 under Nevin, but went 30-30 in their last 60 games.

It was enough for Nevin to keep the job, especially with Moreno exploring a possible sale of the team. There’s no exact timeline for the potential sale, which complicates things for the organization -- though keeping Nevin gives them some stability heading into next year.

"I had a lot of great experiences the last four months, or really the entire season," Nevin said. "A lot of times when you’re given this opportunity for the first time, you’re walking into a place where they’re rebuilding or expectations are low for a while. But we have some of the best players in the world. And I know we’re going to have a good support group around them. I know the common narrative is 'if we’re healthy we can do this.' We have a lot of talented guys in that room and on our staff."

Nevin, though, said the Angels haven’t decided the future of his coaching staff. He said it’s something he’ll discuss with Minasian over the coming days.

"We’ll go over those things," Nevin said. "I’ve said it before, but there are a lot of great men in that room. When the change was made, there was never any animosity [over who would become interim manager]. We worked together like we were all one group. I didn’t look at it like anyone was more important than the others. I know there are decisions to be made in my seat, but I certainly enjoyed working with everybody and watching us grow."

Nevin, who attended El Dorado High School in nearby Placentia and Cal State Fullerton, is regarded as a players manager, and the announcement was well-received by Angels players, who threw a celebration for him in the clubhouse two hours before the game after the announcement was made.

"He’s done a great job," said catcher Max Stassi. "He’s just a good dude. He’s a baseball guy, a baseball rat. He just cares about his players and everything involved with winning. He’s the right man and we’re excited to have him."

Outfielder Taylor Ward echoed Stassi’s comments, and superstar Mike Trout also stumped for Nevin when asked about him on Sunday. It’s clear Angels players were happy with the decision to keep Nevin, who played 12 years in the Majors and served as a coach in a variety of roles in the Minors and Majors before finally getting the opportunity to manage the Angels.

"I think Phil is a great manager," Ward said. "He’s done a great job with us. He really motivates us and keeps us together. So I’m super excited he’ll be managing us next year."