Since the end of the 2020 season, Perry Minasian has been the brains behind the Los Angeles Angels front office. Through the first half of the 2023 season, Minasian’s Angels are contending in the AL West, a status that surprises many in the sport. How much credit does Minasian deserve for his team’s 44-37 record?
Ultimately Minasian’s reputation is likely to be settled based on what happens for the rest of this season. Do the Angels continue to contend? If not, does he unload two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who becomes a free agent at season’s end? That part of the story is yet to be written.
What follows is a mid-term assessment of the Angels’ front office personnel decisions since the conclusion of the 2022 World Series with a particular focus on the extent to which those decisions have helped or hindered the Angels’ performance.
The standard of measurement in Wins Above Average (WAA), a variant of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). For this purpose, WAA is preferable because unlike WAR, it is zero-based. That means the sum of all the decisions made by the Angels front office impacting the 2023 team gives at least a good estimate of the number of games those moves have improved (or worsened) the team’s status this season.
A team’s front office impacts that team’s standing in five ways. Those five are:
1. By the impact of players it acquires from other teams via trade, purchase or waiver claim.
2. By the impact of players it surrenders to other teams in those same transactions.
3. By the impact of players not already under team control that it signs at free agency or extends beyond the original period of control.
4. By the impact of players it loses to free agency or releases.
5. By the impact of players it promotes from its own farm system.
With respect to Minasian, it’s worth noting that he did not play a leadership role in the signing of Ohtani, who was a product of the Billy Eppler administration. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon are among several other players whose contracts Minasian simply inherited; their performance also does not factor into the GM’s rating.
With that as a qualifier, here’s how Minasian stacks up so far by those five yardsticks.