After several weeks of little news about the Angels’ search for a new general manager, several names have emerged as candidate for the position. Four new names join that already lengthy list, as Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has spoken with the team, and longtime Royals executives Gene Watson, Scott Sharp, and J.J. Picollo were also part of the Halos’ first round of interviews, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter).
Amaro is the only one of this quartet who has previously run a front office, as his stint as the Phillies’ GM from 2009-15 was highlighted by the National League pennant in 2009 and three NL East titles. All of that success came in Amaro’s first three seasons, however, largely due to the core of talent built by Amaro’s predecessor Pat Gillick (though as assistant GM, Amaro also had a hand in that roster’s creation). 2011 was still the last time Philadelphia posted a winning record, as their 2008 championship core aged and Amaro wasn’t able to reinforce the team well enough to keep it in contention.
Since leaving the Phils, Amaro moved not to another front office job but rather coaching positions with the Red Sox and Mets. After the 2018 season, he worked as an advisor to Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen, and spent 2020 as a broadcaster for Phillies games. Amaro does have some memorable ties to the Angels, as he was drafted by the team back in 1987 and he spent the first of his eight MLB seasons in a Halos uniform.
Watson, Sharp, and Picollo have all been linked to other general manager openings in the past. Watson interviewed with the Astros last winter, Sharp was a candidate with the Giants and Mets after the 2018 season, and Picollo has been considered for front office jobs with the Twins, Diamondbacks, and Phillies. In fact, Picollo was one of the favorites to replace Amaro as the Phillies’ GM back in 2015 before Matt Klentak was hired, and Picollo’s name has again surfaced as a possibility in Philadelphia now that Klentak is no longer in the position.
According to Rosenthal, Sharp could be the Angels’ preferred choice among the three Kansas City choices. Sharp, Picollo and Watson have all been with the Royals since 2006, working in various positions while moving up the ladder to their current positions as assistant GM (Sharp and Picollo) and senior director of pro scouting/special assistant (Watson).