by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
ANAHEIM, CA – Monday morning was not ideal for manager Brad Ausmus as the Los Angeles Angels informed him that his services would no longer be needed.
“I want to thank Brad for his hard work and dedication to this organization over the last two seasons as both a special assistant and field manager. He navigated this franchise through one of its most difficult seasons with class and professionalism,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. “This was an incredibly difficult decision but after significant consideration, we’ve decided it is necessary to go in another direction.”
The Angels finished 72-90 this season, and 35 games behind the AL West leading Houston Astros. Ausmus was under a three-year contract before his firing.
One candidate who was recently was released by the Chicago Cubs appears to be on the list is Joe Madden. Madden was bench coach for the Angels from 1993 to 2005 before departing to become the Tampa Bay Rays manager and later on led the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years.
According to reports, Madden happens to be in good standing with Halos owner Arte Moreno which is a strong plus. The Angels off season will be extremely busy on and off the field.
No matter who the hire will be, the other need that has to be addressed is pitching. The team are expected to back up the brinks truck for some starting pitching this off season. With free agents such as Gerrit Cole, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and, Stephen Strasburg to name a few, the right move has to be made.
Also the team will be negotiating with the Anaheim City Council over a new stadium deal to see if the team will remain in the city or possibly move along the waterfront in Long Beach. The Halos have their plates stacked, and yes the best player in baseball in Mike Trout continues to wait to have the opportunity to compete for a World Series title.
Eppler is a brilliant executive and more than competent to put the right pieces around Trout and Shohei Ohtani, along with adding a scintillating manager in Maddon, this is a recipe for success.
As long as Moreno remains the owner and stays in that space.