3:20pm: The Angels have announced the hiring. Minasian received a four-year contract, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets.
12:09pm: The Angels have decided on Braves assistant general manager Perry Minasian as their new general manager, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). Rosenthal reported last night that Minasian was the favorite to land the post, replacing the recently fired Billy Eppler.
Following Eppler’s ousting, the Angels reportedly interviewed as many as 20 candidates for the position, though Minasian was one of just five to advance to the second wave of interviews. Also in the mix were Cubs senior vice president of player personnel Jason McLeod, D-backs assistant GMs Jared Porter and Amiel Sawdaye, and Mariners assistant GM Justin Hollander.
Ultimately the job will be entrusted to Minasian, who has been with the Braves since 2017 after a nine-year run working his way up through the Blue Jays’ scouting ranks. His appointment to this post makes for another rookie GM hire for Angels owner Arte Moreno, who has previously tabbed first-timers Tony Reagins, Jerry Dipoto and the aforementioned Eppler to lead his baseball ops department. (Dipoto had served as an interim GM in Arizona prior to being hired by the Angels.)
That’s not to suggest that Minasian is in any way a head-scratching hire — far from it. He’s previously been connected to GM vacancies, including the Mets’ opening prior to their 2018 hiring of Brodie Van Wagenen. Minasian has seemingly been preparing for an opportunity like this for most of his life, in fact. As MLB.com’s Mark Bowman noted back when the Braves hired Minasian in October 2017, he served as the Rangers’ bat boy while his father was their equipment manager and eventually rose to clubhouse attend and then to the team’s scouting department prior to his move to the Blue Jays. His brother, Zack, is currently the Giants’ pro scouting director.
From his time in the clubhouse to his tenure as a prominent scout and then an assistant GM and vice president who helped to bolster the Braves’ analytics department, Minasian has a wealth of experiences and vantage points — all of which have contributed to his ascension to the top of a big league baseball operations department.
Minasian inherits a crowded but manageable long-term payroll outlook in Anaheim. The Angels are at last in the final season of the 10-year, $240MM Albert Pujols contract negotiated by Moreno, and they’ll be out from underneath Justin Upton’s five-year, $105MM deal after the 2022 season. Starting in 2023, the only players on the books for the Angels are Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, although they’ll have some key players up for arbitration that year — most notably Shohei Ohtani, David Fletcher and Griffin Canning.
Minasian joined the Braves after the 2017 season as they were emerging from a rebuilding effort. He’ll now join a club with an even greater win-now imperative — this time standing alone atop the operations hierarchy (although Moreno has a reputation for being far more involved in baseball operations maneuverings than most of his ownership peers). It’s been six years since the Halos and Trout last reached the postseason, and Moreno has clearly grown restless as that drought has grown.
Minasian should have the green light for an aggressive offseason if he wishes. Jason Martinez of Roster Resource/FanGraphs projects a roughly $36MM gap between the Angels’ current luxury obligations and the luxury tax barrier, and that only figures to grow once the Halos make some expected non-tenders. The Angels will need to address at least one middle-infield spot and perhaps add a catcher, but the bulk of Minasian’s heavy lifting should be expected to be on the pitching side of things — in the rotation and bullpen alike.