October 28, 2011
An official announcement won't take place until Saturday when the World Series is over. But as first reported by FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, the Los Angeles Angels will name Jerry Dipoto as their new general manager.
Dipoto was the Arizona Diamondbacks' senior vice president of scouting and player development. He replaces Tony Reagins, who resigned and took another position in the organization shortly after the regular season ended.
With Dipoto's background in scouting, Arte Moreno is probably giving an indication as to how he'd like to have his team built in the future. Reagins fired the scouting director who drafted many of the system's top prospects, such as Mike Trout(notes), Mark Trumbo(notes) and Peter Bourjos(notes). Splashy trades and free-agent signings seemed to be his preferred method of putting a roster together.
Unfortunately, Reagins typically failed to get his man, such as Carl Crawford(notes) or Adrian Beltre(notes). That forced him into making some curious trades, none more questionable than the deal which sent Mike Napoli(notes) and Juan Rivera(notes) to the Toronto Blue Jays for Vernon Wells(notes). The trade looked even worse for Reagins when Napoli was flipped to the Texas Rangers and eventually became perhaps their most valuable hitter.
Dipoto isn't new to the demands of being a general manager. He briefly served as the D-Backs' interim GM when the team blew out general manager Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch in a major housecleaning.
During his two months in the GM chair, Dipoto dealt Dan Haren(notes) to the Angels for Joe Saunders(notes) and three minor leaguers, including pitcher Tyler Skaggs, considered one of Arizona's top prospects. Dipoto later traded Edwin Jackson(notes) to the Chicago White Sox for two pitchers. One of them was Daniel Hudson(notes), whose 16 wins were second on the D-Backs' staff this season.
Dipoto's background is as diverse as any prospective GM, which surely made him appealing to both the Angels and Baltimore Orioles, with whom he also interviewed. Dipoto pitched eight major-league seasons as a reliever with the Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Colorado Rockies. After his playing days were over, he was a scout with the Boston Red Sox and eventually became the Rockies' scouting director before moving on to Arizona.
The Angels conducted a wide search for Reagins' replacement. Other candidates the team interviewed reportedly included current Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Friedman, former Mets GM Omar Minaya, White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, New York Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, and MLB executive Kim Ng.
Dipoto's hiring may not draw as much attention as Theo Epstein's move to the Chicago Cubs or the Red Sox promoting Ben Cherington as his replacement. But the Angels were in the AL West and wild-card races until late in the season. Between a promising core of talent already in place and Moreno's willingness to spend money on his roster, Dipoto could lead a quick turnaround in Anaheim.