The list of candidates to be the Angels’ new general manager is taking shape, and there is a theme within the group.
The Angels are prioritizing executives who have led scouting or player development departments -- or both, in some cases.
Sources tell MLB.com that the following assistant general managers or team vice presidents (in alphabetical order) have been part of the Angels’ internal discussions.
• Josh Byrnes, Dodgers
• Jason McLeod, Cubs
• Billy Owens, Athletics
• Jared Porter, D-backs
• Scott Sharp, Royals
• Logan White, Padres
One source stressed the Angels remain in the preliminary stages of their search process, and additional people likely will be considered. It’s not clear if the Angels have been granted formal permission to speak with candidates.
The team’s approach suggests the next GM’s primary focus must be internal development, as opposed to external splashes. Among the 12 largest current contracts in the sport, the Angels claim more than any other club: Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Albert Pujols. Yet, the franchise has not reached the postseason since 2014.
Byrnes had experience in scouting and player development prior to tenures as a general manager with the D-backs and Padres. McLeod and Porter, in fact, have had similar roles under Theo Epstein with the Red Sox and Cubs that Byrnes did in Boston.
Byrnes, McLeod, Porter, and Sharp have won World Series rings as front office executives. McLeod currently holds dual responsibilities in amateur scouting and player development with the Cubs, while Porter has risen to prominence within the industry through his expertise in pro scouting.
Sharp was the Royals’ director of player development leading up to their back-to-back American League pennants and 2015 World Series title, which were heavily influenced by homegrown talent.
Owens is regarded as one of the top talent evaluators in the sport, as a key voice in many of the A’s cost-efficient moves over the last two decades. Owens also has been mentioned as a candidate to join the New York Mets in a high-ranking capacity. Owens has a longstanding relationship with Sandy Alderson, who is expected to return to the Mets as team president once Steve Cohen is approved as the new owner.
White is a close adviser to Padres GM A.J. Preller and renowned evaluator of Major League, Minor League, amateur and international players. He ran the Dodgers’ MLB Draft operations during his tenure there, including selections of Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, Matt Kemp and Russell Martin. White also was involved in the international signings of Hyun Jin Ryu, Hiroki Kuroda, Julio Urías, and Yasiel Puig.
White interviewed for previous GM vacancies with the Astros, Mets, D-backs and Padres.