General manager Perry Minasian, intent on improving his team but unsure where his efforts will lead him, has not concerned himself with the potential sale of his team. Minasian said he has continued to focus only on making the Angels better.
“For me, it’s business as usual,” Minasian said in his end-of-the-season news conference Thursday at Angel Stadium. It was the first time Minasian spoke to reporters since current owner Arte Moreno announced he hired a firm to start exploring the possible sale of the team. “Nothing changes. I believe ownership, I know ownership still wants to put a good team on the field. And I expect this to improve significantly.
“For me, my day to day is the same,” he continued. “It's obsessing about how do we make the club better? And how are we in a position, where I'm sitting here this time a year from now talking about postseason roster and who's pitching Game 1 and all those things. That's where the focus is.”
During the one-hour session, Minasian took responsibility for the team’s shortcomings in his second year as GM, giving a laundry list of areas the team is in need of improvement and the different avenues by which those improvements can be made.
“It's on me,” he said. “I've got to do a better job of building the roster. I've gotta [get] more players. We've got to make the players we have better. We have to continue to develop young players. I think we took a positive step in that direction, but again I'm very confident we'll be able to make this team better.”
He did not offer specifics but did use the term “opportunities” as his answer to a few questions.
For example, when asked about needing to know his budget to build the roster, he said: “It's opportunities. So what opportunities are out there and what we feel like are the right moves we’ll present those opportunities to ownership.”
Asked about whether he needs a higher payroll to put out a better team, he said: “Again, it's opportunities. There's opportunities where zero to threes become available in trade. There's not a certain payroll number that will make you win or lose. It's decision-making. And I've got to make better decisions. I'm well aware of that. I know that and that's what we plan to do.”
Asked about his ability to make multiyear deals with ownership change possibly happening, he said, “Again, I think it's just based on opportunities, what's out there. I’ve done multiyear deals in the past that we felt like they were good opportunities at the time and I don't see that changing. The message I've gotten through the communication I've had is let's make this team better.”
Since the news of the exploration of the possible sale of the team, Minasian settled a one-year, $30-million contract with Shohei Ohtani, avoiding arbitration, and extended Phil Nevin as the full-time manager of the team on a one-year deal.
Minasian does not typically discuss contract negotiations and would neither say whether a long-term extension for Ohtani was talked about nor if a change in ownership would impact an extension happening.
“All I can say is he's very respected,” Minasian said. “And I think that's something that we showed with what we agreed upon. We love the player and nothing would make me more happy than bringing him back.”
The length of Nevin’s contract, he said, was what they were comfortable with for a person who already has earned the respect of the clubhouse, adding, “It's giving somebody an opportunity, seeing where it goes next year and going from there.”
What any of this means if or when a sale happens, will not be known for some time. Asked whether he will have the opportunity to even pitch his outlook for the future of the Angels to any prospective owners, he reiterated: “I'm not involved in those conversations. … To think about other things that are outside of my control is taking away from what I need to do.
“We'll take the next couple of weeks and really go through everything and come up with a plan and be opportunistic and get ready for the offseason.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.