The Angels are headed for another losing season and moving toward a front office change, but is Dave Dombrowski the answer?
At 24-31 entering Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels are assured of a fifth straight losing season. General manager Billy Eppler is also in the last year of his contract, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported Dave Dombrowski is the most frequently mentioned replacement option as the Angels likely look to make a change.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has added a “widely held belief” the Angels will make a front office regime change, and the “industry consensus” is owner Arte Moreno will pursue Dombrowski.
With a litany of big/bad contracts and lower-end pitching moves that have not even remotely worked out, the Angels have missed the playoffs six years in a row. Since Mike Trout’s arrival in 2011 they’ve made the playoffs just once, a three-game Division Series sweep by the Kansas City Royals in 2014.
Moreno was the spearhead of moves to sign Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Vernon Wells. Next year’s payroll is topped by Trout, Pujols, Anthony Rendon and Justin Upton, with $118 million on the books to just those four and a lengthy list of arbitration-eligible players.
Eppler has done some good things, but the good moves have been too few for him to be assured of his job next year.
Is Dave Dombrowski the guy to get the Angels over the hump?
Dombrowski was most recently President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox from 2015-2019. He built a roster that won the 2018 World Series, but he was fired in September of 2019. Prior to that he was with the Detroit Tigers from 2002-2015, and they won four AL Central titles and two AL pennants during his tenure.
In Detroit and Boston, Dombrowski had success in carrying out a win-now mode for an owner who was willing to spend big and sacrifice the future for the present. The Angels have tried something like that, with absolutely nothing to show for it.
The roster carcasses Dombrowski left behind in his last two stops have to be remembered. But Moreno may not care about that at this point, and aside from his name recognition Dombrowski might just be a perfect fit for the Angels.