4:36pm: Eppler tells Fletcher that the Angels “have not hired Bud Black” and are still in the process of assembling their front office unit (links to Twitter). However, Fletcher notes that it won’t be a surprise if Black ultimately does land in the Angels’ front office, calling him a natural fit.
Notably, Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has tweeted that Black will join the front office even after Eppler’s comment, so perhaps in light of the drama with the Nationals, the Angels are just being careful to limit talk of Black’s return until everything is official.
4:09pm: Former Padres skipper and Angels pitching coach Bud Black will return to the Halos as a member of their front office, reports MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. Black’s specific role isn’t clear just yet, though Gonzalez says he’ll likely be a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler. Additionally, Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register reports that the Angels have hired Yankees manager of pro scouting as their new assistant general manager.
Black, 58, was fired by the Padres in June of this past season after serving as the team’s skipper for parts of the past nine seasons. He drew offseason interest from both the Nationals and Dodgers in the clubs’ respective managerial searches and was even reported at one point to be the Nats’ choice as their new manager. However, contract discussions between the two sides broke down, and Washington ultimately tabbed Dusty Baker as its new manager. Following that, Black was reported to be one of a handful of finalists for the Dodgers, but the field has since been narrowed to two (Gabe Kapler and Black’s former bench coach Dave Roberts).
Black began his coaching career with the Angels, serving as Mike Scioscia’s pitching coach from 2000-06 before being named Padres’ manager. While his exact duties aren’t yet known, one can envision him working with the club’s young pitchers in Spring Training and going on advance scouting assignments to weigh in on pitchers over the course of the regular season.
Martone, of course, has a connection to Eppler from the pair’s time together in the front office, where Eppler recently held the title of assistant GM. He’ll absorb many of the duties that were shared by Angels assistant GMs Matt Klentak and Scott Servais, who recently left the Halos’ front office to become GM of the Phillies and manager of the Mariners, respectively. Fletcher notes that Martone has been with the Yankees dating back to 2007 and was largely responsible for identifying trade and free-agent targets in New York.
Gonzalez also reports that Ron Roenicke, who served as the Angels’ third base coach from 2000-05 but has more recently been manager of the Brewers and third base coach for the Dodgers, will also return to the Angels. He’ll assume his former duties as the third base coach in Anaheim after missing out on the Dodgers’ managerial gig himself.