Former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Dan Evans, whose drafts and signings stocked the organization with much of its current core of young players, is leaving baseball to become president and CEO of West Coast Sports Management in Pasadena, CA.
Evans, for the past three seasons a special advisor to Seattle Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi, reverses a recent trend of sports agents crossing into baseball.
Jeff Moorad, formerly of Moorad Sports Management, became general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Aug. 2004. Dennis Gilbert, who founded Beverly Hills Sports Council, since 2000 has been a special assistant to Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. And Rick Hahn, assistant general manager for the White Sox, formerly was an associate at Steinberg, Moorad & Dunn sports agency.
Dave Stewart, the former pitcher and Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager, is an agent in San Diego, and Donnie Mitchell, who formerly held scouting positions with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves, also became an agent.
"The biggest reason this happened is because I wasn't looking for it to happen," Evans said Friday morning. "I'm lucky, because I got a chance to do the job I always dreamed of doing. I'm one of the few who got that opportunity."
Evans, 47, was fired by the Dodgers shortly after Frank McCourt purchased the team in 2004. For the Mariners, he worked primarily as a special assignment scout, meaning weeks at a time on the road, away from his family.
"The daily toll it takes on you, after a while you start to wonder if it's all worth it," he said. "A lot of people live their whole lives and never get the opportunity to do what they really want to do. I've had that opportunity."
He was impacted this summer when Mariners manager Mike Hargrove resigned, citing some of the same conflicts of work and family. Then, while touring college campuses with his eldest daughter, Sarah, Evans recalled thinking, "I don't know her as well as I should."
Evans' contract with the Mariners expired after the season, and his first day with West Coast Sports Management, which represents, among others, Ryan Spilborghs, Glendon Rusch, Shawn Hill and Rick VandenHurk, was Friday.
"I see some really great people walking away," he said. "(Front-office work) is a great job, but it's such a consuming job, a consuming lifestyle, I don't know if the rewards are there. I love the game. My God, I love the game more than ever. But, I was plowing through my life a little. This way, I can have it both ways."