Perry Minasian, Los Angeles Angels
AL West rank: fourth
MLB rank: 27th
In some quarters, this was supposed to be the season when the Angels finally amassed enough talent around Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani to construct a winner. But hey, who are we kidding?
Second-year GM Perry Minasian’s moves shuffled 53 major leaguers in and out of Anaheim. But at 17 favorable and 33 unfavorable, the ratio was two-to-one against the Angels. When all the accounting was done, only the woeful Pirates, Nationals, and Athletics did a worse job of reconstructing their team than Minasian’s front office.
Begin with the trade market. Minasian played it aggressively, acquiring a dozen new faces in deals with other teams. Most, however, were fringe elements – how much do you really expect from Mickey Moniak, Rob Zastryzny, or Phil Gosselin – and none impacted the Angels more positively than +0.4 WAA. The net impact was -5.2 games in the standings.
Fortunately, those players came at no greater cost than outfielder Brandon Marsh. Still, the Angels ranked 27th in MLB for net impact from trades.
Things didn’t go much better in free agency. Again Minasian was active, signing or extending 21 new faces, some of them celebrated. Noah Syndergaard was picked up from the Mets’ trash heap, going 5-8 before a deadline deal sent him to Philadelphia. Veterans Aaron Loup, Raisel Iglesias, Archie Bradley, and Ryan Tepera were brought in to help the bullpen.
Still, the totality of those signings worked out to -6.6 WAA, leaving the Angels 25th for net free agent impact.
One might have hoped that the carryover impact of stars such as Ohtani, Anthony Rendon, and Trout would have been enough to make the Angels relevant. Indeed, Minasian began the season with inherited contracts that would produce +11.9 WAA, almost all of it represented by Ohtani and Trout. Two seasons into his tenure, however, he has been unable to build on the nucleus left behind by his predecessor, Billy Eppler.
An illustration of that reality. The 2022 impact on the Angels of players added by Minasian in his first season, 2021, was -2.4 games. Only five front offices in MLB derived less 2022 value from their own previous-season signings.