Perry Minasian Discusses Ohtani, Payroll, Nevin


Angels GM Perry Minasian conducted the club’s end-of-season presser this afternoon, and in doing so discussed an array of topics with reporters following a brutally disappointing 2023 campaign that saw the club go 73-89 during Shohei Ohtani’s last season under club control and miss the postseason for the ninth consecutive season.

Speaking of Ohtani, Minasian told reporters (including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register) that he believes “this is a place that he enjoys playing and this is a place that he loves.” Though he acknowledged that Ohtani was disappointed that the club didn’t improve in 2023 (instead posting an identical record to the 2022 club), he adds that “you get the feeling that this is a place he really, really appreciates, respects. And we’ll just have to see what happens over the course of the offseason.”

Minasian’s comments regarding Ohtani, while reiterating the the team would love to retain the two-way phenom next season, give Angels fans little reason for optimism as Ohtani heads to the open market with a chance at a record-setting free agent deal, even as he rehabs from an elbow procedure that will keep him off of the mound until 2025. Further casting doubt on a potential return to Anaheim for Ohtani were comments from Minasian regarding the club’s payroll outlook, as the GM admitted (as relayed by Sam Blum of The Athletic), that he couldn’t say whether or not ownership would be willing to replicate the club’s 2023 payroll, which was the highest of Arte Moreno’s tenure as owner. Re-signing Ohtani would almost certainly require a massive financial outlay, to say nothing of the other additions necessary to build a contender around both him and fellow generational star Mike Trout.

While Minasian said that Moreno is “motivated to win”, he also admitted that he isn’t yet certain whether or not the club was able to duck under the luxury tax threshold by the end of the year. In service of that goal, the clubs lashed payroll in the final months of the season by putting half-a-dozen veteran players on expiring deals on waivers, including major deadline acquisition Lucas Giolito. If the Angels do wind up paying the luxury tax in 2023, it will be the first time they’ve done so under Moreno’s ownership.

Minasian also discussed the club’s decision to part ways with manager Phil Nevin and the uncertain futures of members of both the coaching staff and front office. Minasian noted (per Blum) that the club had not yet made any final personnel decisions beyond moving on from Nevin as manager, who was let go due to a “collaborative” decision between Moreno and Minasian himself. As Blum notes, it’s an interesting departure from the decision to fire manager Joe Maddon last summer, which was made by Minasian alone. It would appear the club hasn’t begun to determine who will replace Nevin as manager, as Fletcher notes that Minasian told reporters that the club does not yet have a list of potential managerial candidates, and that there’s no timeline for a decision at this point.

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