The who's who of Angels managerial candidates

October 16th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Rhett Bollinger’s Angels Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ANAHEIM -- The Angels are currently in the process of searching for a new manager after deciding not to pick up Phil Nevin’s option for the 2024 season

It’s still early in the process and the Angels have not confirmed any names that they are interested in interviewing. But veteran manager Buck Showalter, who parted ways with the Mets, has expressed interest, according to a report from the New York Post. And the Angels have two internal candidates who could be a fit in bench coach Ray Montgomery and infield coach Benji Gil. 

General manager Perry Minasian didn’t get into specifics at the end of the season about what he was looking for in a manager and wouldn’t say if he was looking for someone with experience in that role. But he did offer some generalities in what he likes in a manager. 

“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.” 

Minasian, who is entering the last year of his contract, also said he believes it’s a desirable job -- even though the club is looking for its first postseason appearance since 2014. 

“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.” 

Here’s a look at some potential candidates for the club’s managerial opening:

Buck Showalter  
Showalter has plenty of experience, as he’s managed in the Majors for 22 years for five clubs, including the Mets the last two seasons. He also has ties to Minasian, as Minasian was a staff assistant for Showalter when he managed the Rangers from 2003-06. He also previously interviewed for the job before Joe Maddon ultimately was named to the post before the 2020 season. 

Benji Gil 
Gil is beloved by Angels players and served as Team Mexico’s manager in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. He’s bilingual and can connect with the Latin players in the clubhouse. But he’s never managed at the Major League level.

Ray Montgomery
Montgomery began his tenure with the Angels in the front office before moving into the dugout as bench coach. He’s long been a potential managerial candidate and was considered for the job before Nevin was named the interim managed in ’22. But he’s also never been a big league skipper.

Darin Erstad
Erstad is an Angels legend, having starred with the club from 1996-2006 and was a critical piece to their World Series title run in 2002. He also served as the head coach at the University of Nebraska from 2012-19 but doesn’t have any professional coaching or managing experience.

Walt Weiss
Weiss has managerial experience, as he led the Rockies for four seasons from 2013-16 and has been around a winning organization in the Braves in recent years, serving as their bench coach since before the 2018 season. Weiss worked with Minasian from 2018-19 with Atlanta before Minasian took over as Angels GM. Weiss, though, went 283-365 with Colorado.

Ron Washington
Washington hasn’t managed since 2014 but had a successful run with the Rangers from 2007-14, including leading them to the World Series in back-to-back years. He’s been with the Braves as third-base coach since before the 2017 season and like Weiss, he knows Minasian from his time in Atlanta. He’s 71 years old so this might be his last opportunity.

Joe Espada
Espada has long been a managerial candidate and has been the bench coach for the Astros since before the 2018 season. He previously was a candidate for managerial openings with the Rangers and Cubs. But with the Astros still in the postseason, the Angels would have to wait to interview him.

Clayton McCullough
McCullough is the first-base coach for the Dodgers but previously served as a manager in the Minor Leagues, in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization, and as a Minor League field coordinator. He might not have enough experience for the job but is considered an up-and-coming candidate.

Gabe Kapler
Kapler was recently dismissed by the Giants after a four-year run that included a 107-win season in 2021, and he previously served as manager of the Phillies from 2018-19. Kapler can be a bit unorthodox, which might not be a fit, but he has had some success in getting the most out of a roster.