The Los Angeles Angels announced that manager Phil Nevin would not be returning as the club’s skipper next season.
On Monday, the team revealed they intend to decline Nevin’s contract option for 2024, following a little of a year and a half at the helm. The Angels will then be in the hunt for their fourth manager in six years, after another failed season.
Nevin, an Orange County native, was promoted in June 2022 when the club fired Joe Maddon while in the midst of a 14-game losing streak. The turmoil didn’t stop, however, and the consistent state of flux limbo remained throughout this season.
The 52-year-old managed 268 games for the Angels during his tenure, posting a 119-149 record. Nevin was unable to manage his way to a postseason berth, and the streak of missed playoff runs, has continued for nearly a decade.
This season was especially painful, given the Angels ambitions as a team to make a postseason run. General manager Perry Minasian mortgaged many of the team’s lone top prospects to bring in trade deadline pieces to bolster the roster.
But the additions did not pan out. After heading into the halfway point of the season with a manageable 65-61 record, they’d go on to finish 17 games out of first place. Nevin was a holdover piece from Maddon’s coaching staff, joining the team as a bench coach in late 2021.
Nevin recently discussed how much difficult the season was, citing a lot of ever-changing variables and constant flux with the state of the roster. To his credit, an abundance of injuries was a main issue with the team, including the loss of their star players to injury, with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
With Phil Nevin gone, what’s next for the Angels?
With Nevin out of the picture for next season, the discussion shifts to the club’s pursuit of retaining Ohtani. As he’s scheduled to hit free agency, the team has either got to make a strong run at paying him far more than any team out there, or look towards a future without him.
Failing to reach the playoffs with Trout and Ohtani on the same team isn’t the clearest sign of a competitive organization, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be, with the right buttons hit.
Minasian sticking around could be a good thing for the franchise, because a strong voice and a consistent approach to building a winning team at every level is the model they’ll need to use.
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