Mike Scioscia apparently wants to return in 2019, but Eric Chavez has now surfaced as a candidate to be the next Angels manager.
In early August, Mike Scioscia dismissed a report he’s stepping down as “poppycock.” But the Angels are on track for a third straight losing season (76-81 entering Tuesday), and a fourth straight campaign without a postseason berth. Scioscia is also without a contract for what would be a 20th season as Angels manager next year.
Managers of Scioscia’s ilk are a dying breed. New hires around baseball have tilted toward first-timers with little or no coaching experience, but with some name recognition as a former player and often with a fresh perspective and/or a willingness to embrace the analytics movement. On that note, Bob Nightengale of USA Today has reported Eric Chavez is emerging as the favorite to replace Scioscia as Angels manager in 2019.
Chavez has been working as a special assistant in the Angels’ front office since 2015. He also finished this season as manager of their Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City, when Bees’ manager Keith Johnson was called up to the major league coaching staff.
Chavez played in the big leagues from 1998-2014, the peak of which was spent with the Oakland Athletics (1998-2010). He won six Gold Gloves at third base during his time in Oakland, along with a Silver Slugger Award in 2002. But injuries diminished him toward the end of his time with the A’s, and he played the remainder of his career with the New York Yankees (2011-2012) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (2013-2014).
As the Angels look for a fresh voice in the dugout, while trying to get something out of the rest of Mike Trout’s prime and perhaps foster player development, Chavez might be the guy to replace Scioscia. And it wouldn’t have to be considered a firing, as the long-time skipper apparently chose to go without a contract extension into this season.