Connect with us


Perry Minasian in Anaheim: In or Out the Back Door?

Perry Minasian speaks at his introductory press conference.

Perry Minasian: his four-year contract is up after 2024, so will he be back in the GM seat for 2025 and beyond?

Perry Minasian is in an unenviable spot. The General Manager job for the Los Angeles Angels is arguably the most volatile position in baseball, as three different GMs have gone through the ranks in the past decade. The same problems persist and the common denominator in owner Arte Moreno remains. Is Minasian’s work worth retaining him, or will he be another chapter in Moreno’s old book? Let’s take a look at Perry Minasian’s work from 2020 until now.

First Year on the Job

Minasian was appointed Angels’ GM in November of 2020 after the firing of GM Billy Eppler at the conclusion of the 2020 short season. In that offseason, Minasian added veterans C Kurt Suzuki, SP Jose Quintana, and RP Alex Claudio all on one-year deals. SP Alex Cobb, SS Jose Iglesias, and CP Raisel Iglesias all joined via trade.

Minasian’s first season in charge was underwhelming. The Angels finished 4th in the AL West with a 77-85 win-loss record. Claudio posted an awful 5.51 ERA in 41 appearances for the Halos before being released in July. Quintana began the season in the Angels rotation but was demoted to a relief role before getting released as well. He started 10 games and appeared in a total of 24 games where he had a 6.75 ERA. SS Jose Iglesias was also released in September as he battled uncharacteristic defensive woes all year.

Alex Cobb had a respectable 2021 season. He started 18 games and had an 8-3 win-loss record. In the 93.1 innings he threw, Cobb racked up 98 strikeouts and a 119 ERA+. His season was impacted by injuries, but he was worth bringing back as he was productive when healthy. The Angels cut ties with future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. Pujols had been heavily underperforming, and the move opened up playing time for 1B Jared Walsh, who was an All-Star that summer. Raisel Iglesias was a notable standout that season as he closed 34 ballgames out of 39 opportunities. The closer was headed towards free agency and a big decision needed to be made.

The All-Pitcher Draft

The first draft that GM Perry Minasian watched over was unique. Minasian and his Angel front office counterparts selected only pitchers in the 20-round draft. The Angels organization was thin in the pitching department, so Perry made his mission clear that summer. To this point, RHP Chase Silseth and first-round pick RHP Sam Bachman have reached the major leagues. They have both shown immense stuff at the ML level but have also endured control and health issues. They are both currently on the 60-Day IL. No other pitchers selected in that year’s draft have reached the major leagues yet, and only one is in the Top 30 Prospects list. It is safe to say that Minasian’s draft strategy has not been fruitful.

2021-2022 Offseason

The Angels signed SPs Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen on one-year “prove it” deals. Syndergaard was coming off injury and Lorenzen was transitioning from reliever to starter. RPs Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera also landed in Anaheim after signing multi-year deals. Both relievers heavily underperformed in Anaheim. Loup was shaky the majority of the time and Tepera was released early into the 2023 season. Suzuki was brought back on a one-year deal, but the best move at the time was retaining Raisel Iglesias. Raisel cashed in on a 4-year, 58-million-dollar deal.

2022: A Solid Start & A Historic Losing Streak

The Angels were savoring success for the first time in a while early in the season. Young left hander SP Reid Detmers hurled a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 10 when the Angels held a 21-11 record at the time. Unfortunately, that was the peak to the Angels’ season as the rest of it was filled with bad baseball. Manager Joe Maddon was fired amid a 14-game losing streak filled with gut wrenching losses. Phil Nevin was named the interim manager for the Halos after Maddon’s firing.

At the summer trade deadline, the Angels traded away SP Noah Syndergaard and OF Brandon Marsh to the Philadelphia Phillies in their own separate trades. Syndergaard netted the Halos OF Mickey Moniak and C Logan O’Hoppe was the return piece for Marsh. Iglesias was traded in a salary dump move to the Atlanta Braves. The best news that came out in the summer was when team owner Arte Moreno announced that he would be exploring the sale of the team. The Halos went backwards and finished with a 73-89 record in 2022.

All In for Shohei

Time was ticking in Anaheim as two-way superstar SP/DH Shohei Ohtani would be a free agent after the 2023 regular season. Minasian made a flurry of moves that winter. SP Tyler Anderson used his career year with the Dodgers to ink a three-year, 39-million-dollar contract. UT Brandon Drury and CP Carlos Estevez signed their respective two-year deals. RP Matt Moore also signed a one-year deal to join the Angels bullpen. On the trade front, INF Gio Urshela was acquired from the Minnesota Twins and a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers got them OF Hunter Renfroe.

The 2023 season & the Fateful Trade Deadline

The Angels were just over .500 as they approached the dog days of summer. After losing Urshela and 3B Anthony Rendon to injury, the Halos traded for INF Eduardo Escobar to plug that hole. Later that June they also acquired 1B/3B Mike Moustakas from the Colorado Rockies. Perry Minasian was acting quickly and pushing his chips in to keep the team afloat. The Angels and the White Sox then hooked up for a trade in late July. SP Lucas Giolito and RP Reynaldo Lopez packed their bags for Anaheim. The return for the White Sox featured young prospect C Edgar Quero and 2020 draftee SP Ky Bush. RP Dominic Leone also came over from the New York Mets.

After losing OF Taylor Ward to a horrific facial injury in Toronto, Minasian kept pace. He acquired former Angels 1B CJ Cron and OF Randal Grichuk in another trade with the Rockies. Fans and people around baseball questioned the all-in approach because the Angels mortgaged the little talent they had in the farm for the hopes of a measly Wild Card berth. The moves barely moved the needle in Anaheim. The team had struggled against teams over .500 all year and the August schedule was a gauntlet. The Angels collapsed in August, going 8-19 and finished 2023 at 73-89.

In late August, Giolito, Lopez, Moore, Renfroe, and Leone were all claimed off waivers by other teams. Grichuk was put on waivers, but no one claimed him. Cron was not put on waivers because he was on the injured list at the time. The Angels fell out of the race horribly and they opted for the cost-cutting move. The franchise was in flux and Ohtani was gone.

What’s the Plan?

The Angels legitimately only spent money to improve their bullpen for 2024. The bullpen currently ranks 29th in all of baseball. Their top relief acquisition, Robert Stephenson, underwent Tommy John surgery in April. Minasian draftees SS Zach Neto and 1B Nolan Schanuel have understandably struggled early on. The Angels do not have the necessary depth and did not acquire anyone outside the organization to withstand their growing pains. Rendon and OF Mike Trout are bitten by the injury bug once again in 2024. The current roster reflects the bad drafting and farm system neglect as they do not have anyone impactful waiting on the wings.

The Angels desperately need a rebuild. Not trading Ohtani in order to jumpstart that process was a missed opportunity two deadlines in a row. Ohtani walked away and they made their future worse after the 2023 deadline debacle. The decisions that owner Arte Moreno and Perry Minasian have made during the past four years have set the franchise even further back.

Minasian’s efforts to improve the major league ballclub have been constant misses and you can count his good moves with your fingers. The farm system also remains in the bottom 5 throughout baseball. The correct approach this summer is to sell off all expiring contracts and to maximize the value of the controllable pieces they have. The franchise needs a hard reset. Minasian’s shortcomings as the GM do not warrant a return after 2024. When owner Arte Moreno took the team off the market, he exclaimed that he had “unfinished business”. So far, that unfinished business has been letting Ohtani walk for nothing in return and overseeing a franchise with no plan for the future.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in Features