Servais joins Dipoto; Klentak could also leave
Angels assistant GM heading to Seattle; front office's No. 2 man could also go
The Angels' former general manager joined the division-rival Mariners in late September, and now one of their top executives will follow.
In one of his first major moves as Seattle's GM, Jerry Dipoto hired his good friend and longtime colleague, Scott Servais, as his new manager on Friday, replacing Lloyd McClendon. Servais was one of Dipoto's first hires when he took over the Angels in October 2011, bringing him in as an assistant GM who would run scouting and player development.
Servais, who also had an influence on trades and free-agent signings, has never managed at any level. In a statement, the 48-year-old former catcher said it has "long been my goal to manage a big league team."
"And while I took a slightly different path than many," Servais added, "I am confident in my ability to lead. We have a terrific core of players, and I'm looking forward to bringing in a coaching staff that will help me establish a winning culture here as we work toward putting together a championship-caliber team on the field for the fans of the Northwest."
Tim Bogar -- the former Rangers interim manager who spent this season as Dipoto's special assistant with the Angels -- is expected to join Servais' coaching staff, likely as his bench coach.
The Angels could also be losing Matt Klentak, the No. 2 man in their front office. Klentak is one of three finalists to be Phillies GM under new president Andy MacPhail, according to MLB.com. The others are A's assistant GM Dan Kantrovitz and Rays vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom, but Klentak -- analytically inclined, with plenty of experience dealing with other GMs -- has long been considered the frontrunner.
That means Billy Eppler, the former Yankees executive in his first GM job, could be seeking two top lieutenants to join him in the Angels' front office. The Halos also need to name a new pitching coach and hitting coach after parting ways with Mike Butcher and Don Baylor, respectively.
An outside candidate is expected to be brought in as pitching coach, but assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen will probably be promoted to hitting coach. Baylor has been offered an advisory role with the Angels but has yet to decide whether to take it.
The rest of the Angels' coaches -- most notably bench coach Dino Ebel, third-base coach Gary DiSarcina and first-base coach Alfredo Griffin -- have been informed they're coming back.
Servais, who played for four organizations from 1991 to 2001, was Dipoto's teammate in 2000, when Dipoto was a reliever for the Rockies. Five years later, Servais worked under Dipoto as a pro scout when Dipoto was the Rockies' director of player development.
Servais then served as the Rangers' director of player development from 2006-11, helping the Minor League system go from 28th to first in Baseball America's rankings in three years and being there for back-to-back World Series appearances.
With the Angels, Servais was still in the early stages of rebuilding a farm system that had gone barren -- a process that was made more difficult with new rules that limited international spending and a Major League club perennially in win-now mode.
Along the way, Servais and Dipoto bumped heads with longtime manager Mike Scioscia. A disconnect formed over the baseball philosophies of the Minor League system. And when Dipoto resigned on July 1, Servais was widely expected to follow at season's end. He was under contract through 2017, but the Angels released him from it so he could join Dipoto as his manager.
Coming off a tumultuous experience with the Angels, Dipoto sought synergy and like-mindedness. He's known Servais for more than 20 years and called him "one of the most complete, well-balanced and inclusive baseball people in the industry" in Friday's statement.
"He is a communicator with strong baseball acumen and leadership skills," Dipoto added about Servais, who also interviewed for the Padres opening. "I truly believe his strong character and career experiences as a player, coach and executive have prepared him for this opportunity."