Manager Mike Scioscia and the Los Angeles Angels have agreed in principle to a multi-year contract extension, according to a source close to those negotiations. Details of the contract are unknown.
Scioscia's current deal runs through 2009, with a club option for 2010, for about $2 million per season. The extension is believed to carry him through at least 2012.
Under Scioscia, who turned 50 in November, the Angels are 803-655 in nine seasons. They were World Series champions in 2002 and have won four of the last five American League West titles. They have won only one postseason series since the World Series title, however, a stretch that includes division series losses to the Boston Red Sox in each of the past two Octobers.
Scioscia's regular-season winning percentage (.551) is better than that of Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella and Jim Leyland.
The Angels were baseball's only 100-game winners in 2008, then were eliminated by the Red Sox in four games, ultimately when their offense abandoned them again. Scioscia was criticized for ordering a suicide squeeze that failed in the ninth inning of a tied Game 4, which the Red Sox won with a run in the bottom of the ninth. His teams are consistently among the most aggressive in the game – both at the plate and on the basepaths – a personality that typically has served them well.
The Angels have since lost their closer, Francisco Rodriguez, and No. 3 hitter, Mark Teixeira, to free agency. They opted for the less expensive Brian Fuentes over Rodriguez, who signed with the Mets, and were outbid by the Yankees for Teixeira.
Owner Arte Moreno does not intend to enter into negotiations for Manny Ramirez, according to club sources, meaning Scioscia's offense will have to come from elsewhere. The Angels re-signed outfielder Juan Rivera, but will miss Teixeira's presence in the lineup and superb play at first base.
- Mike Scioscia