Gene Watson is leaving the Royals for the Angels’ front office, ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link). Watson will be a special advisor to new Angels GM Perry Minasian, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, and The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya recently chronicled Watson’s longstanding ties to Minasian dating back to Minasian’s childhood.
Watson has spent the last 14 seasons with the Royals, the last three as the team’s senior director of pro scouting and a special assistant to GM Dayton Moore. Watson previously worked as a scout with the Padres, Braves, and Marlins before coming to Kansas City, and his long career as a respected evaluator put him on the radar for general manager openings in the past. Of greatest relevance, Watson interviewed for the Angels’ job before Minasian was hired, and Watson also spoke with the Astros about their GM vacancy last offseason.
More from Anaheim…
- The Angels were known to be suitors for James McCann, who reached an agreement with the Mets today on a four-year deal worth over $40MM. According to Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels weren’t willing to offer McCann more than a three-year contract. Given the large amount of interest McCann was generating in the free agent market, it would be interesting to know if any other teams besides the Mets went beyond a three-year offer, or if it was indeed the fourth year that clinched the signing for New York. It remains to be seen if the Angels will pursue another catcher or if their interest in the position was limited to McCann — in regards to J.T. Realmuto, Torres figures the Halos will spend on pitching rather than direct resources towards a nine-figure deal for Realmuto’s services.
- Longtime Angels broadcaster Victor Rojas was the most surprising name to interview for the team’s GM position, and Rojas discussed his candidacy with Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Previously a minor leaguer in the Angels farm system in 1990, the GM of the independent Newark Bears for two seasons, and the son of former big leaguer Cookie Rojas, the younger Rojas carried a unique resume to go along with his 11 years of calling Angels games on television. The interview stemmed from a lengthy memo Rojas wrote after the season detailing how he would address various issues within the organization since, as he told Shaikin, “as an Angels fan, I was getting a little frustrated.”