Angels to hire Matt Swanson from Cardinals to be new amateur scouting director

Angels General Manager Billy Eppler is said to be hiring a new amateur scouting director from the Cardinals organization.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
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The Angels will hire St. Louis Cardinals scouting cross-checker Matt Swanson as their new amateur scouting director, according to a source who requested anonymity because the move has not been made official. In Swanson, Angels General Manager Billy Eppler chose a far less experienced but highly regarded option to replace Ric Wilson, who was removed from the job earlier this month.

Swanson will orchestrate and carry out the Angels’ plan for the 2017 amateur draft, a crucial class for an organization with a farm system widely regarded as the worst in the sport. If the Angels’ position in the standings doesn’t significantly change over the season’s final 37 games, they could pick anywhere from third to seventh. They have not picked inside the top 10 since 2000, and the last time they picked as high as third was 1997, when they selected future All-Star Troy Glaus.

Swanson, 33, pitched for the University of California and was drafted by Pittsburgh in 2005. He spent three seasons in the minors, and then worked in insurance until St. Louis hired him as an area scout in November 2008. After being based in Northern California for five years, he was promoted to his current role as the Cardinals’ Midwest cross-checker, supervising the team’s scouts in that region.

With St. Louis, Swanson was listed as the signing scout for right-handers Sam Tuivailala and Kyle Barraclough, left-hander Marco Gonzales, second baseman Kolten Wong, infielder Colin Walsh, and outfielders Stephen Piscotty and Greg Garcia, all of whom went on to reach the majors.

Swanson becomes one of a select few Angels executives hired by Eppler, who held over most of predecessor Jerry Dipoto’s staff. Besides a new analytics department, assistant general manager Steve Martone is the most prominent Eppler hire.

Wilson is said to still be deliberating on a lesser role in the organization the Angels offered. He had held his job since 2010, when he replaced the fired Eddie Bane, who the year before had presided over one of the most successful drafts in recent history.


Street out for the year

Closer Huston Street visited Dr. Keith Meister, the Texas Rangers’ team physician, in Texas on Tuesday for a second opinion on his inflamed right knee. He opted for arthroscopic surgery; Meister will perform it Wednesday.

Street, 33, first landed on the disabled list three weeks ago because of pain in the knee. He’s now expected to miss the rest of the season.

Hampered by an early-season oblique strain, he pitched 22 1/3 innings in 2016, by far the worst year of his career. His 6.45 earned-run average more than doubled his 2.97 career mark. The Angels must pay him $9 million next season and a $1-million buyout or $10 million for 2018.

Short hops

The Angels are considering sending right-hander Alex Meyer to Class-A Inland Empire or triple-A Salt Lake to make his next start on Saturday. Meyer threw three innings in rookie ball Monday and struck out six teenagers. … Right-hander Garrett Richards, traveling with the team, has extended his throwing out to 80 or 90 feet. He will need to reach 150 feet before the Angels allow him to throw a bullpen session, Manager Mike Scioscia said. …The Rangers released Josh Hamilton, which does not affect the remaining money the Angels must pay him through the end of next season, more than $20 million.


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