There was a lot of Cubs flavor in the Angels’ search for a new general manager.
As the Los Angeles Angels look to reshape the front office and finally turn the corner as an organization, we heard a lot of guys with Cubs ties connected to the Halos’ GM vacancy. Late Wednesday night, we learned both men with connections to Chicago were ruled out of contention as the Angels decided to pivot in a new direction with their ongoing search.
Based on earlier reports, we can assume the search is narrowed down to Justin Hollander, the assistant GM in Seattle, Perry Minasian, the assistant GM in Atlanta and Amiel Sawdaye, who holds the same role with Arizona.
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The two guys no longer in the running? Arizona assistant GM Jared Porter and current Cubs executive Jason McLeod. McLeod worked with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in Boston before following him to Chicago. Before the 2020 season, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Player Personnel. McLeod is in charge of day-to-day Major League operation, primarily focusing on roster construction.
This is not the first GM gig McLeod has interviewed for. He’d been connected to the Minnesota Twins and San Francisco Giants openings in the past – but has stayed on the North Side. Of course, he has enjoyed a lot of success in the draft over the years.
He helped draft Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber for the Cubs, and while working with the Red Sox, he oversaw the selections of Christian Vazquez, Yan Gomes and Anthony Rizzo. Every player listed is a World Series champion.
The other finalists include Arizona Diamondbacks assistant GMs Jared Porter and Amiel Sawdaye, Seattle Mariners assistant GM Justin Hollander, and Perry Minasian who works with the Atlanta Braves currently
The other name fans might recognize is Porter’s. Porter has been a part of four World Series-winning front offices. He came to Chicago in 2016 but worked in Boston before that, so he is familiar with the Cubs’ regime. In Chicago, Porter was the director of pro scouting before moving on to the Diamondbacks as the assistant GM.
Sawdaye does not have a direct tie to the Cubs, but there is a tie to Theo Epstein. Sawdaye worked with the Red Sox for 15 years and was the Director of Amateur Scouting from 2005-2009, according to MLB.com.
The Angels also asked to interview the Cubs’ current Director of Scouting, Dan Kantrovitz, but he declined the offer. It has to be a good look for Cubs’ brass that people from their front office, or at least one-time members of the front office, are being considered for front office jobs around the league.
That kind of thing shows how much other organizations like and respect how you run your organization. It’s no secret Chicago has slowed down, both behind the scenes and on the field in recent years, but it’s still a regime that demands respect.
The irony of it all is that Joe Maddon, and the Cubs for that matter, wanted a fresh start, now a former member of the Cubs’ front office and Maddon may re-unite again with the Angels.
Whichever individual winds up with the role, has a nice base to work with already, with Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and David Fletcher. Jo Adell is inexperienced but has sky-high potential. This is am opening to watch, especially with Maddon at the helm for the Angels.