Joe Maddon is scheduled to interview with the Angels for their managerial opening this week, said a person on Sunday who is familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about it.
Maddon’s name has been connected to the Angels since it became apparent two weeks ago that he was not remaining in Chicago to manage the Cubs beyond the 2019 season. The chances of Maddon becoming the Angels’ next manager grew exponentially when Brad Ausmus was fired the day after leading the team to a 90-loss season in his first year at the helm.
Maddon, who owns a home in Long Beach, is interested in the position and would be a natural fit for the job. The three-time manager of the year spent 31 years as an employee of the Angels. After playing for them in the minor leagues, he advanced from his post as a scout in 1980 to coaching in the major leagues in 1994. He was Mike Scioscia’s bench coach when the team won the 2002 World Series. He left in 2006 to manage the Tampa Bay Rays, and he led them to the World Series in 2008.
Despite the obvious connection, Angels general manager Billy Eppler said last week that he would present a list of potential managerial candidates to team owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino. His plan was to conduct interviews with “a number of candidates.”
“I would not handicap it any other way,” Eppler said.
It took only three weeks last year for the Angels to decide that Ausmus, who had spent the 2018 season as Eppler’s special assistant, would be their next manager. He was introduced one day before the Dodgers and Boston Red Sox met in the World Series.
Ausmus led the Angels after spending the 2014 to 2017 seasons as the manager of the Detroit Tigers. He beat out candidates who did not have managerial experience, including Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada, former Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees third baseman Eric Chavez, and 11-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop Omar Vizquel.
Previous experience as a manager would not be a requirement for this opening, Eppler said.
But the Angels last won a postseason game 10 years ago, when they lost the American League Championship Series in six games to the eventual World Series champion New York Yankees in 2009.
In the time that followed the Angels’ last October victory, Maddon led the Rays to three postseason berths and the Cubs to four. The Cubs, who had finished fifth in the National League Central five consecutive years before Maddon’s arrival, won the World Series in 2016. The Cubs did not advance to the playoffs this season and finished with 84 wins.