Minasian sees 'really great things' for Angels

New GM on state of system: 'This is going to be a competitive club'

November 17th, 2020

ANAHEIM -- Perry Minasian was officially introduced as the 13th general manager in Angels history on Tuesday, and he made it clear that he believes the club can compete from the outset despite five straight losing seasons and no postseason appearances since 2014.

Minasian, who was an assistant GM with the Braves, beat out roughly 40 applicants for the job in his first-ever interview for a GM position. Angels owner Arte Moreno said 18-20 candidates interviewed for the position, and he was impressed by Minasian’s ability to communicate and his vision for improving the roster.

“One of things that makes this job so intriguing is this is not a 100-loss team,” Minasian said. “This is not a five-to-seven year rebuild. This is going to be a competitive club. I think it’s an outstanding mix of veteran players with some youth on the horizon, and obviously, the manager [Joe Maddon] speaks for himself. I can’t wait to work with Joe, and this whole organization is on the cusp of doing some really great things.”

Minasian, 40, learned the importance of communication at a young age, growing up in the game of baseball as the son of longtime Rangers clubhouse manager Zack Minasian. The younger Minasian worked his way through the ranks from a batboy and clubhouse attendant to getting his start in scouting with the Rangers. He parlayed that experience into a nine-year stint with the Blue Jays, including six years as director of scouting. He had been with the Braves as an assistant GM since after the 2017 season.

Minasian cited several executives he learned from throughout the years such as Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos, former Brewers GM Doug Melvin and former Rangers GMs Tom Grieve and John Hart. He also mentioned former managers Buck Showalter and Bobby Valentine as mentors as well as scout Mel Didier. Minasian believes he can lean on them for advice in his role as a first-time GM.

“I can’t express in words what this opportunity means to me,” said Minasian. “It means a lot. I’ve been around this game for almost my entire life, 33 years. I love baseball. I love the ups, and I love the downs. I love the people, and I love the stories. I think this is one of the best organizations in sports. … I can’t wait to roll my sleeves up and get started.”

Minasian said one of his first goals is to gain more institutional knowledge about the organization before building out his front office and making several new hires. He wouldn’t confirm if he was looking to hire either one of his brothers who work in baseball, however. His brother, Calvin, is the clubhouse coordinator for the Nationals, and his brother, Zack, is the Giants' pro scouting director.

But as far as on the field, Minasian believes the Angels need to improve their pitching staff to get the organization back on track. Angels starters combined to post the second-worst ERA in the Majors in 2020, and it’s been an issue for the club for several years. The club could also look to upgrade at catcher this winter as well, especially with Max Stassi coming off right hip surgery that could cause him to miss the start of the season.

“Pitching is first and foremost,” Minasian said. “And with pitching comes run prevention; we can’t lose sight of that, either. That entails defense -- we have to catch the ball. Catching is beyond important, game-calling and game-planning. All the things that entail run prevention, we’re going to attack.”

Moreno agreed with Minasian about ways to improve the roster and noted that payroll will not be going down heading into 2021, although Moreno wouldn’t say how much it would be going up. Moreno consulted with both Maddon and superstar Mike Trout before the interview process to get a better feel for what the club needs to do to improve going forward and believes Minasian is the right hire to create a consistent winner.

"We don’t look at it like we need to remodel the whole team," Moreno said. "We just need to add some pieces that are going to give us a chance to compete at the highest level."