With the Los Angeles Angels’ season coming to an end on Wednesday, general manager Perry Minasian sat down with the media on Thursday to discuss another disappointing season. Of their eight years missing the playoffs consecutively, 2022 may perhaps carry the most disappointment.
The Angels had higher expectations than they’ve had in years, with Shohei Ohtani coming off of an MVP season, Mike Trout playing a majority of the team’s games, and several young pitchers making leaps to being legit MLB starters. They started the season 27-17, a sign that perhaps things were turning around.
But the Halos crashed and burned from there, going 25-56 over their next 81 games, putting themselves firmly out of the postseason race. In the middle of it all, Angels owner Arte Moreno announced he would look to sell the team in the offseason, a process that is now expected to ramp up.
And while fans may have rejoiced at that news, it also came with uncertainty that Minasian and the Angels front office would be given the flexibility required to make significant upgrades to the roster for 2023 and beyond.
In his media availability, Minasian assured that it wouldn’t be the case, and that the Angels will be competitive for free agents, trades, and other potential avenues to improve, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“For me, it’s business as usual,” Minasian said. “So nothing changes. I know ownership still wants to put a good team on the field. And I expect us to improve significantly. Nobody is happy with how this year went, with where we ended up in the standings. But for me, at least, my day to day is the same. It’s about, ‘How can we make this team better?’”
Minasian even went as far as to say that multi-year deals would not be out of the equation, even though Ohtani and manager Phil Nevin are only under contract for 2023.
“I’ve done multiyear deals in the past that we felt were good opportunities at the time, and I don’t see that changing,” Minasian said. “The message I’ve gotten through the communication I’ve had is, ‘Let’s make this team better,’ which is music to my ears.”
If this is the reality of the situation, then it’s music to the ears of all Angels fans. However, it remains to be seen if the team would actually follow through on these promises. An ongoing sale of the team might make it difficult for the front office — and even players — to agree to hefty contracts or blockbuster trades that improve the team.
As recently seen with the Washington Nationals, the impending sale of the team led to the trade of Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres. The same fate could be in store for Ohtani, especially if he continues to show a reluctance to sign a long-term contract.
Trout putting faith in Minasian
Trout was rightfully frustrated that — for the eighth year in a row — he is being asked questions about whether or not he believes in the future of the Angels organization. But as he always has, Trout backed his front office, and specifically Minasian.