Sport

Angels Close to Signing Joe Maddon as New Manager

Maddon came up as a coach in the Angels system, referencing his three decades there often during the course of his five years in Chicago. "Every stop he has made throughout his managerial career, he has built a culture that is focused on winning while also allowing his players to thrive".

The Angels fired Brad Ausmus one day after the Cubs announced Maddon would not return in 2020, so reading the tea leaves was pretty easy. Maddon was part of the 2002 Angels staff that helped the team to a World Series championship. Ausmus was abruptly dismissed shortly after Maddon became available, and most observers assumed Moreno had his eye on a reunion with Maddon, the Angels' bench coach when Moreno bought the club in 2003.

The Angels interviewed Maddon for their manager position last week and he was considered a favorite to land the gig.

The Phillies and Mets are two of seven teams still searching for managers for 2020 (the other teams are the Cubs, Giants, Pirates, Padres and Royals). After pitcher Tyler Skaggs' death was ruled to have been caused by a mix of opioids and alcohol, a team employee admitted that he'd supplied the drugs and had used with Skaggs.

All of the uncertainty about Maddon being hired by the Angels have been laid to rest this morning as Maddon and the Angels have reached a deal that will bring him back home so to speak.

ESPN's Jesse Rogers had reported Wednesday morning that Maddon's contract with the Angels likely would be for three years and $12-15 million. Eppler also will attempt to be active in the free agent market to supplement a roster finally starting to bear fruit from Eppler's years of rehabilitating a barren farm system. Maddon's record (1252-1067) in 14 seasons managing both Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Cubs.

But the Angels do have some intriguing prospects coming up the system - led by outfielder Jo Adell - and Maddon has experience taking a team and elevating them to contender status immediately. Maddon has received praise for his personable combination of old-school baseball passion and an eagerness to adapt to the new world of analytics and statistical decision-making.



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