The Los Angeles Angels have filled their vacant general manager position by hiring Perry Minasian, the team announced Thursday. Minasian, 40, was the Braves' assistant general manager during the 2020 season. He had been a part of Atlanta's front office since 2017, and prior to that, spent nine years working in the Toronto Blue Jays scouting department.
The Angels fired Billy Eppler following the 2020 season after the club completed its fifth consecutive losing campaign. Eppler took over as Angels' general manager after the 2015 season. There were zero playoff appearances in his tenure and there wasn't even a winning season. The best record under Eppler was 80-82, which happened in both 2017 and 2018.
With Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Shohei Ohtani, the Angels are star-heavy but they haven't yet been able to breakthrough. The Angels have only made the playoffs once in the last 12 years. The pressure is on for the Angels to stop wasting Trout's prime and get back into the postseason. This will not be a long-term project or a rebuild for Minasian; it's win now.
Minasian grew up around baseball. His father, Zack, was the longtime Texas Rangers' clubhouse manager, from 1988 until 2009. Both of Minasian's brothers, Zack and Calvin, also work for MLB clubs. Minasian was hired by former Braves general manager John Coppolella shortly before Coppolella was forced to resign after breaching MLB international player rules. When Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos took over, Minasian was promoted to assistant general manager.
Minasian and Anthopoulos worked together during their time with the Blue Jays. Minasian joined the Blue Jays as a MLB scout in 2009 and became the director of scouting the following year, when Anthopoulos became Toronto's general manager. Anthopoulos served as Blue Jays general manager from 2009 through the 2015 season. Working alongside Anthopoulos in Atlanta, Minasian has been a part of turning the Braves from a rebuilding club to a serious, perennial contender.
Minasian's hiring follows a trend of Angels owner Art Moreno hiring only first-year general managers during his tenure as owner. Moreno took over as owner in 2003, and has a reputation for getting overly involved in baseball operations decisions. Ahead of the 2020 season, the Angels signed Joe Maddon to a three-year deal to become the club's manager. Even if Minasian wanted to bring in his own manager, that option appears to be unlikely as bringing in Maddon was Moreno's idea.
The Phillies, Marlins and Mets are the remaining clubs with vacant general manager positions.