We’ve come to the end of another frustrating Los Angeles Angels season. The greatness of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani wasn’t enough to get the Halos back into October baseball. The team finished 73-89 and was never in serious contention during the second half of the season. This is despite the midseason dismissal of manager Joe Maddon. The Angels and the Detroit Tigers now hold the longest playoff drought in baseball at 8-years.
After Joe Maddon was relieved with an option year left on his contract, managerial duties fell to Phil Nevin, who recently received a one-year contract extension. Nevin will have a chance to prove himself next season, but the one-year deal is pretty telling that Angel’s management won’t sit on their thumbs if they don’t see an improvement.
Currently, the Angels are at long odds on US betting sites to be in the mix to make the postseason next season. However, Ohtani and Trout aren’t getting any younger, and the deep-pocketed Angels organization could make some significant moves in the off-season, including a new manager.
The interim manager for most of the season and full-time manager going into next season, the job is Phil Nevin’s to lose. After Joe Maddon’s dismissal, the Angels posted a 46-60 record with Nevin leading the charge.
Although the team’s performance wasn’t particularly impressive, he seems to have a good relationship with the players and even received a public endorsement from Mike Trout. The one-year contract he received essentially makes him an interim again, but he’ll have the chance to prove he deserves to be the skipper moving forward.
Perhaps the most recognizable candidate on this list, Bruce Bochy, has been a coaching free agent since 2019. He has long-term managerial stints with the Padres and Giants, where he won 3 World Series championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014. In 25 years in the dugout, Bochy has a lifetime record of 2003-2029.
Having spent most of his playing and all of his managerial career in California, it has been reported that he would be more interested in a job on the west coast. With his local ties and the top-end talent on the roster, Bochy to the Angels could make sense for both sides.
Surprisingly, Ron Washington has been a free agent for so long. In his 8-year stint as the Rangers’ manager, Washington had four 90-win campaigns and won two American League. Citing personal reasons after an extramarital affair, Washington’s departure from Texas was messy.
But time has passed, and he has a proven track record as a manager and recently as the third base coach of last year’s champion Atlanta Braves. Washington has been credited with improving the fielding of Austin Riley and Ozzie Albies in the infield, which could benefit the Angels.
The first newbie on this list, the longtime Cardinal utilityman has been making waves in MLB coaching circles for the past few seasons. After stints as a first base coach and then associate manager of the San Diego Padres, Schumacher joined his old team in St. Louis as bench coach before the 2022 season, where they captured the National League Central crown.
Schumacher is a Torrance, California native and attended UC Santa Barbara, so assuming the reins of the Angels would be another homecoming.
Perhaps the sentimental pick, longtime Angel Darin Erstad, is a name that should pop up in the discussions to be Trout and Ohtani’s next skipper. Not only is Erstad a World Series champion from the club’s lone championship season, but he is also a reasonably accomplished manager at the collegiate level.
In 8 seasons coaching at his alma mater, Nebraska, Erstad compiled a 267-193-1 record. The Cornhuskers finished second in the Big Trn three times during his tenure and won the conference in 2017 – the same year Erstad won Big Ten Coach of the Year. He resigned from his position in 2019 and has been a free agent. His ties to the organization and experience make him a no-brainer to be interviewed.