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Who could replace Phil Nevin as Angels manager? Here are six potential candidates

Buck Showalter.
Mets manager Buck Showalter during a game against the Nationals last month. Showalter did not return to the Mets following the conclusion of a 75-87 season.
(Stephanie Scarbrough / Associated Press)
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Being a major league manager is no easy feat. Managing the Angels, particularly entering the 2024 season, will be a challenge for someone new after the team decided not to pick up the option on Phil Nevin’s contract last month.

The ideal candidate for the Angels would be someone who improves the culture of the organization, has a strong work ethic and has a rich history in baseball. The job would not be a hard sell for some, but would not be as enticing to others, particularly to experienced managers, according to one former American League executive who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak freely.

“All the first-year guys would jump at the opportunity, no question,” the former executive said. “I think the veteran guys, if you have options, you’re gonna look at what the team is, what their future looks like, what the front office or ownership expects of you.

“Those guys that have managed before, if they have options, I think that’s what they’re going to be looking at.”

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The Angels will not pick up an option on Phil Nevin’s contract for the 2024 season following another year outside the postseason for the franchise.

Oct. 2, 2023

Two-way star Shohei Ohtani is not guaranteed to return. The Angels have not had a winning season since 2015. The AL West — home of the Houston Astros’ dynasty, the Texas Rangers’ revival and the Seattle Mariners’ rise — is full of competition. Perry Minasian is in the final year of his contract as the Angels’ general manager. The organization’s farm system is viewed as weak by most around the industry.

Not to mention that less than a year ago the team was for sale before owner Arte Moreno reversed course in January.

The Angels have several candidates they have already spoken to and interviewed for their vacancy, according to a person with knowledge of the situation but not authorized to speak about it.

If the Angels follow the pattern of the managerial search that landed them Joe Maddon in 2019, here are six candidates who are potential fits.

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Buck Showalter

Buck Showalter before a game.
Mets manager Buck Showalter looks on before a game against the Phillies on Oct. 1.
(Noah K. Murray / Associated Press)

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The former manager of the New York Mets has been linked to the Angels and was one of a handful of candidates the team considered before hiring Maddon. Minasian also has a longstanding relationship with Showalter, for whom he was a staff assistant when Showalter managed the Rangers (2003-06). Showalter, over the last few weeks, has met with and spoken to the Angels twice about their manager vacancy and is one of the finalists for the position, according to a person with knowledge of the situation but unauthorized to speak about it. Whether Showalter or someone else gets the job would be up to Moreno, the person said.

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Ron Roenicke

Ron Roenicke.
Ron Roenicke watches spring training in 2020, when he was the interim manager of the Red Sox.
(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

The Dodgers special assistant, who is from Los Angeles, told The Times earlier in the offseason that he likes his position with the Dodgers and he is not too interested in managing again, but would consider an opportunity if it meant staying in Southern California. Roenicke last managed the Boston Red Sox in 2020 and previously managed the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 to 2015, with a playoff run in 2011. He’s familiar with the Angels’ front office and ownership, having served as a longtime coach for and won a World Series with them — the Angels’ only championship — in 2002. He was the third base coach in two stints (2000-05 and 2016-17) and bench coach (2006-10). If there was interest, the Angels would need permission from the Dodgers to interview Roenicke.

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Benji Gil

Benji Gil talks with Shohei Ohtani.
Benji Gil talks with Shohei Ohtani during an Angels game last year.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The Angels’ infield coach, who has managed several winning teams in Mexico and managed Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic in March, has expressed interest in managing a major league team, as The Times’ Jorge Castillo reported this year, Gil has been familiar with the organization since he was a utility infielder with the team from 2000 to 2003. He was hired to be their first base coach in 2022 under Maddon. After Maddon was fired midway through the season and replaced by Nevin, their former third base coach, Gil was shifted to infield coach. There was preliminary interest in Gil by the Angels, according to multiple people close to the team though unauthorized to speak about its search. He has not interviewed for the Angels job but he has interviewed for the Padres’ managerial vacancy, according to a person with knowledge of the situation but unauthorized to speak on it.

Mexico WBC manager Benji Gil is known for his candor and his frank approach. He wants to make it clear that he is doing all he can to be an MLB manager.

March 17, 2023

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5

Walt Weiss

Walt Weiss talks to Tyler Matzek.
Braves bench coach Walt Weiss talks to relief pitcher Tyler Matzek during a game on Aug. 17 against the Mets.
(Harkim Wright Sr. / Associated Press)

The bench coach of the Atlanta Braves has entertained teams’ interest in the past but would not leave unless it was for something compelling. “I love where I’m at,” Weiss told The Times in 2022, “and it would have to be a good situation to take me away from that.” Weiss previously managed the Colorado Rockies from 2013 to 2016. He has worked with Minasian and his brother, Calvin Minasian, with the Braves. If there were interest, the Angels would need permission from the Braves to interview Weiss.

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Ron Washington

Dave Roberts points and smiles with his arm around Ron Washington.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Braves third base coach Ron Washington acknowledge someone in the crowd prior to a game on Aug. 31.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The third base coach for the Braves said last year that he still had interest in being a manager again. “Wherever [the opportunity] is, I’m gon’ build,” Washington told The Times in 2022. Washington, who managed the Rangers to two AL pennants in 2010 and 2011, is well liked and respected by players. Like Weiss, he also knows the Minasian family, his connection stemming both from overlapping tenures in Atlanta and previously with the Rangers, the only team Washington has managed (2007-14). If there was interest, the Angels would need permission from the Braves to interview him.

Ron Washington signed his first baseball contract in 1970.

June 8, 2019

7

John Farrell

John Farrell watches a game from the dugout.
Red Sox manager John Farrell watches Game 3 of the 2017 ALDS against Houston.
(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

The former Red Sox manager, like Showalter, also was interviewed by the Angels in their 2019 search. Whether he is interested in the Angels job this time or whether the Angels are interested in him is not yet known. Farrell managed two teams previously: the Toronto Blue Jays (2011-12) and the Red Sox (2013-17), who won the World Series in 2013. Farrell has a connection with Minasian as the two overlapped when Minasian was director of professional scouting for the Blue Jays (2011-16). Farrell last worked in MLB for the Cincinnati Reds as a part-time consultant in the baseball operations department from 2019 to 2020.

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