Jerry Dipoto Rumors

Passan On Dipoto, Zduriencik, Anthopoulos

Here's the latest from Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan:

  • Angels GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia are separated by a "rift" despite Scioscia's recent denial, Passan writes. Since Scioscia's contract runs through 2018, and since his influence throughout the organization is strong, Dipoto is more likely to wind up on the chopping block if the Angels do indeed decide to fire one or the other.
  • General managers suspect that Jack Zduriencik of the Mariners needed to have his superiors approve potential trades at the deadline, Passan writes. He also says that the Mariners have checked to see whether former GM and current Phillies advisor Pat Gillick might be interested in coming back to Seattle. Still, now that Zduriencik is apparently under contract through 2014, it appears he'll get more time to see if the Mariners' new core of young players (which includes Kyle Seager, Nick Franklin, Brad Miller, Mike Zunino and Taijuan Walker) can come together.
  • Despite the Blue Jays' extremely disappointing season, GM Alex Anthopoulos should get more time, Passan argues, noting that Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion's contracts have been terrific.

Angels Likely To Replace Jerry Dipoto Or Mike Scioscia

SUNDAY, 11:25am: Scioscia told reporters that there isn't a rift between him and Dipoto, according to the Associated Press.  "There's no philosophical differences," Scioscia said. "Jerry and I are certainly, as far as our baseball philopsophies, in line."

Scioscia went on to say that the only decision he's publicly had a problem with was the firing of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher last year.  Beyond that, Scioscia said the only other differences he's had with Dipoto have to do with disagreements in player evaluations, a normal occurence between a manager and GM.

FRIDAY, 5:18pm: The Angels are likely to replace either GM Jerry Dipoto or manager Mike Scioscia before the 2014 season, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports (in a series of tweets). Morosi explains that there are "philosophical differences" between DiPoto and Scioscia that make continuing on with both of them "not tenable."

Relations between Dipoto and Scioscia have been strained since, at least, early in the 2012 season, as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times noted in May of that year. The two disagreed over the firing of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote in late 2012 that Scioscia also disliked assistant GM Scott Servais, and was "resistant" to using Dipoto's staff's statistical data.

Scioscia is signed to a ten-year contract that continues through 2018, with salaries of $6MM annually from 2016 through 2018. So if the Angels were to fire Scioscia, they would have to eat the remainder of that contract. Dipoto, meanwhile, is only signed through 2014. Scioscia's contract is mostly a sunk cost, of course, and hiring a new manager wouldn't require the Angels to pay nearly as much. There's also the possibility that Scioscia could end up with another team, thus limiting the Angels' obligation somewhat. Still, as Morosi notes, Scioscia's contract could be a factor.

Another factor potentially in Scioscia's favor is that he is not directly responsible for many of the Angels' most troublesome decisions in the past two years, including the big-ticket signings of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton and the trade of Jean Segura and two other players for 13 starts by Zack Greinke. Scioscia also is not responsible for the Angels' farm system, which currently rates as one of the worst in baseball (although Dipoto, who has only been on the job since October 2011, bears limited responsibility for that as well).


Rosenthal On Trout, Angels

In his article today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports took on several important issues facing the disappointing Angels. Here are some notes from the piece, which is worth a read in its entirety. (There is some interesting stuff on former Angel Zack Greinke's hot stove views.)

  • It is not difficult to argue that Angels center fielder Mike Trout is the most valuable player in the game today, given his stellar production and bargain salary. His unmatched output-to-cost ratio is especially important to a club that is still in the early stages of dealing with two of baseball's most troublesome deals. While the Angels could simply choose to sit back and enjoy Trout at the league minimum for another season, Rosenthal says the organization needs to be thinking of his future cost. 
  • After all, when Trout reaches arbitration in 2015, he will almost certainly be paid more than any other first-time arb-eligible player in history. And the cost will only go up from there. As Rosenthal notes, a likely arbitration salary in excess of $10MM will give Trout immediate financial security, making an extension less enticing. While the team could try and dangle a long-term deal before Trout reaches arbitration eligibility, it may be hard pressed to commit the kind of salary needed, particularly given the massive outlays already owed Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. With Trout set to reach free agency at the tender age of 26, he might well elect to take arbitration year-to-year and wait out a historic contract on the open market.
  • With the Halos well into a second consecutive season of angst, Rosenthal wonders who among the team's leadership might be sent packing. With GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia reportedly not on the same page, one or both could certainly lose their jobs. Rosenthal says Dipoto is more likely to go, given the poor performance of recent acquisitions. (Under Dipoto's watch, Rosenthal notes, the team has wasted resources on pitchers Joe Blanton, Tommy Hanson, and Ryan Madson.) On the other hand, says Rosenthal, Scioscia has failed to deliver the kind of "crisp, aggressive teams" that he once did. 


AL Notes: Angels, Reynolds, Lewis

Here are a few notes from the American League …

  • Angels GM Jerry Dipoto tells Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that his squad is simply "not good right now." He notes that, with so much going wrong, "it's awfully hard to look at one area or one person and say, that's the cure." After investing huge money in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, the club was only able to afford a pitching corps that sits near the bottom of the league in all of the major, comprehensive pitching statistics. And, of course, neither Pujols nor Hamilton has performed as expected. The team admittedly entered the year "thin after the 25-man team and the 12-man staff," according to Dipoto, and that lack of depth was tested so much that the team was forced "to start drilling for oil." Now, in a comment that Heyman describes as being "perhaps ominous[]," Dipoto says that the team is left waiting to see what happens as players come back from the DL: "As we get healthy, we'll have a better chance to assess where we are."
  • So far, the best free agent signing of 2013 has been the unexpected Mark Reynolds, tweets Scott Merkin of MLB.com. Indeed, Reynolds is tearing the cover off of the ball for the Indians. After tonight's game, he sports a .291/.367/.645 slash with eleven home runs, which he has accomplished in part by lowering his strikeout rate to a level (25.0%) that is well below his career average (32.3%). Whether or not he keeps up this pace, he appears very likely to substantially outperform his one-year, $6MM deal. Certainly, the Orioles are likely regretting the decision to non-tender Reynolds, who would be an unquestioned upgrade at the club's disastrous DH spot.
  • Pitcher Colby Lewis of the Rangers, a prospective 2014 free agent, began his rehab assignment this evening with a two-inning appearance in Triple-A. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter), Lewis stretched his 45-pitch limit over just two innings as he labored through a 32-pitch second and ultimately let in three runs. As MLBTR's Steve Adams recently explained, Lewis could earn himself a multi-year contract if he shows teams that his past durability can be counted on once more going forward. In an injury-shortened 2012, the 32-year-old Lewis put up a 3.43 ERA over 105 innings and registered 8.0 K/9 against just 1.2 BB/9.

Quick Hits: Rangers, Jerry Dipoto, Ryan Dempster

With the calendar set to turn to August in less than two weeks, the Pirates continue to shock the baseball world with their sights on winning the National League Central. Winners of seven of its last ten, Pittsburgh owns the best record in baseball since June 16 thanks to the strong play of Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez. McCutchen, one of the frontrunners for league MVP, boasts a batting average of .470 during that time frame with Alvarez leading the Major Leagues with home runs over the last five weeks (h/t Jon Heyman). 

Let's catch up on the latest news and headlines from around the league…

  • Rangers manager Ron Washington told Jim Bowden of ESPN.com that Texas is willing to consider trading any of its prospects except for Jurickson Profar if the team looks to acquire a piece for another World Series run (Twitter link).
  • Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto spoke with Bowden about the team's plans for the non-waiver trade deadline and said that he's working incredibly hard to improve his roster but that the trade market has proven to be difficult (via Twitter).
  • With the Dodgers cooling on Ryan Dempster, the Braves have emerged as the favorites to land the right-hander, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. Potential suitors, including the Cardinals and Nationals, are wary of parting with better prospects for what could prove to be a rental given Dempster's status as a free agent at the end of the season. 
  • After signing Carlos Quentin to a multiyear deal earlier on Sunday, the Padres are in preliminary talks with Huston Street with hopes of retaining his services well into the future, writes Scott Miller of CBSSports.com

AL West Notes: Scioscia, Dipoto, Athletics

The Rangers named 35-year-old Bobby Valentine their manager on this date in 1985. Valentine, now the skipper in Boston, managed the Rangers for eight seasons. Here's the latest from the AL West, starting with the managerial situation in Anaheim…

  • There could be a divide developing between longtime Angels manager Mike Scioscia and new general manager Jerry Dipoto, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times writes. However, Scioscia says he doesn’t think about the possibility that further changes could come and Dipoto said "Mike has done a fabulous job." 
  • Commissioner Bud Selig says there’s no timetable for resolution on the Athletics’ stadium situation, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets.
  • Selig said it’s up to Athletics owner Lew Wolff to consider relocation possibilities, Gerry Spratt of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. “That’s really his decision to make,” Selig said. The commissioner noted that a move would require approval from baseball’s other owners.

West Notes: Matsui, Angels, Gibson, D’Backs

Here are a handful of interesting notes from around baseball's West divisions:

  • The Athletics' interest in re-signing impending free agent DH Hideki Matsui is waning, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland wants to get younger, according to Slusser, and Matsui, now 37, doesn't fit that bill. A return isn't entirely impossible, though, and A's GM Billy Beane will meet with Matsui's agent, Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group, next week.
  • Angels owner Arte Moreno said that the Halos' 2012 payroll will be in the $130-140MM range, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link), which would prevent them from pursuing any expensive free agents. In the Angels' installment of MLBTR's Offseason Outlook series, Ben Nicholson-Smith calculated that the Angels will have about $120MM on the books before accounting for players making the league minimum, so new GM Jerry Dipoto will have about $10-20MM to play with.
  • Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson's 2013 club option vested when the Snakes reached the playoffs this year, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The D'Backs almost certainly would have picked up the option anyway considering Gibson's success in his first full season as skipper, but Arizona's postseason berth assured it. Gibson's coaches have all been extended through 2013, as well.
  • D'Backs GM Kevin Towers will focus on position players this offseason rather than pitchers, according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, with second base being a key spot of interest. It's been expected that Aaron Hill's $8MM 2012 club option will be declined, though Arizona would like to re-sign him, according to Gilbert.
  • Towers doesn't expect to find a new vice president of scouting and player development, the position vacated by Dipoto, according to Piecoro. As well, Towers and Dipoto will hash out which executives the latter will be allowed to bring to Anaheim, with director of international scouting Carlos Gomez expected to be a person of interest in those talks. "That'd be a tough one," Towers said. "He's good. International guys are hard to find, especially young guys. He is under contract. I plan on offering him even a second year."

Angels Name Jerry Dipoto GM

2:51pm: Dipoto's deal is for three guaranteed years followed by two option years, clarifies Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times on Twitter.

SATURDAY, 9:45am: The team announced that Dipoto received a five-year contract to be GM in a press release. His introductory press conference will be held at noon PT today.

FRIDAY, 10:34am: The Angels' exhaustive search for a new general manager is over. They will name Jerry Dipoto of the Diamondbacks their next GM, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

The 43-year-old was the top name on MLBTR's list of GM candidates. He emerged as one of the game's top executives after a successful stint as Arizona's interim GM, but he told Tim Dierkes in August that he's always looking for more knowledge.

"The day I feel like I've stopped learning about baseball is the day I should go home," he said. "Every single day you're going to learn something new and start to adjust your lines of thinking.  It's an ongoing education.  Every person I meet in the game, my first instinct is to learn something from them.  My mentor is the game."

Dipoto, a former Major League reliever, was Arizona's senior VP of scouting and player development before landing the Angels job. After an eight-year playing career that included stints with the Indians, Mets and Rockies, Dipoto joined Colorado's front office. Later, he worked in Boston's front office and was with the Red Sox for their 2004 title, before returning to the Rockies and then leaving for Arizona.

The Angels are far from the only team affected by the move. Rays executive Andrew Friedman — apparently owner Arte Moreno's top choice — won't be going to Anaheim. The Orioles, who had interviewed Dipoto for their GM opening, lost their chance to hire Dipoto. Meanwhile, Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays, De Jon Watson of the Dodgers and John Stockstill of the Orioles have improved chances of becoming Baltimore's GM.

The Angels also considered Thad Levine of the Rangers, Damon Oppenheimer and Billy Eppler of the Yankees, former GMs Dan Evans and Omar Minaya,  Kim Ng of MLB and Rick Hahn of the White Sox. The Angels won't announce the move before Saturday, since MLB prohibits major announcements during the World Series.

MLBTR's Transaction Tracker offers a look back at the moves Dipoto made while running the Diamondbacks last summer. He acquired Daniel Hudson from the White Sox and obtained Joe Saunders and prospects Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin from the Angels.


Orioles GM Rumors: Dipoto, Levine

Arizona's Jerry Dipoto interviewed for the Orioles' GM opening yesterday, and Toronto's Tony LaCava is scheduled for today.  The latest:

  • Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that Dipoto has a “good shot” at the job (Twitter link).
  • The Orioles originally planned to interview at least four candidates, according to Steve Gould of the Baltimore Sun.  They've interviewed Dipoto and Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava so far and it would be surprising if they don't interview more people.
  • Dipoto will also interview for the Angels job, and Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com expects him to get one of the two GM positions.  Kubatko notes that the Orioles are likely to reassign director of player development John Stockstill, replacing him with coordinator of minor league instruction Brian Graham.
  • Kubatko hears Rangers executive Thad Levine could be interviewed later, but he'd be surprised if the Orioles hire him (Twitter link).  Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun believes Levine will be interviewed if the Orioles haven't hired someone by the end of the World Series.  The Rangers' assistant GM is an Alexandria, Virginia native who told MLBTR he "grew up a big Orioles fan."
  • Connolly tweets that as of Tuesday evening, the Orioles had not asked permission to talk to Levine, the Dodgers' De Jon Watson or Logan White, or the Angels' Tony Reagins, and the Marlins' Dan Jennings may be denied permission.  He also considers the Tigers' Al Avila a longshot.

West Notes: Dipoto, Cruz, Kemp

On this date in 1988, Dodgers outfielder Kirk Gibson slugged his historic walk-off homer off Oakland's Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the World Series. Here are some notes on clubs that reside in MLB's West divisions, including one on another Los Angeles outfielder:

  • The Angels have received permission from the Diamondbacks to interview Jerry Dipoto, Arizona's senior vice president of scouting and player development, a major league source tells Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The Angels will also interview Yankees executives Damon Oppenheimer and Billy Eppler, and Dipoto is expected to interview for the Orioles' GM job.
  • Dipoto is considered the favorite to become Baltimore's next GM, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
  • Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz recently rehashed his near move to Japan a few years ago with Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com. Nick Collias of MLBTR and Rumores de Beisbol was kind enough to translate: "My agent told me they were really interested and they'd pay me a relatively large amount of money for the last two months of the season," Cruz said. "I was in the minor leagues, I didn't have a future with the Rangers, and I wanted to begin to explore other options." The interested team was the Yomiuri Giants, and the salary would have been $800K, but Texas GM Jon Daniels declined. Good thing for the Rangers that he did.
  • Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was named Major League Player of the Year by Baseball America. Kemp tied for the highest adjusted OPS (BA's version) among center fielders in the past 30 seasons, matching Ken Griffey Jr.'s 171 in 1997, writes Joe Haakenson.