MLB Rumors: Eric Chavez Favored to Replace Mike Scioscia as Angels Manager

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2018

Arizona Diamondbacks' Eric Chavez pauses in the dugout prior to a spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Friday, March 28, 2014, in Phoenix.  The Cubs defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

If the Los Angeles Angels move on from manager Mike Scioscia, former MLB third baseman Eric Chavez is the front-runner for the job, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Chavez is a special assistant in the Angels organization and finished the 2018 minor league season as skipper of the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported in early August that Scioscia—who is about to reach the end of a 10-year contract he signed in January 2009—is expected to step down at the end of the season after 19 years on the job. He went 1,646-1,427 with the Angels. He also made seven postseason appearances and won the 2002 World Series.

With five games to play, the Angels are 76-81 and sit 23.5 games back in the American League West. This marks the fourth consecutive season they'll miss the playoffs.

Although Rosenthal reported Scioscia is not expected to be back with the Angels next season, the skipper told KLAA-AM radio Monday (h/t ESPN.com) that he'd "like to" keep managing, whether it's in Los Angeles or elsewhere:

"We'll continue to evaluate things this week. I'll speak with [Angels owner] Arte [Moreno] and speak with [general manager] Billy [Eppler] and kind of come to a decision. But I think that if you love something, you want to continue to keep doing it. If you can, great. And if it doesn't happen, so be it. But I love the dugout."

If the Angels move on, Chavez could get the nod.

The 40-year-old played 17 seasons in the majors, suiting up for the Oakland Athletics (13 years), the New York Yankees (two) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (two). He retired in July 2014, wrapping up a career in which he hit .268 with 260 home runs and won six Gold Gloves as well as a Silver Slugger.

Chavez then worked on the A's broadcast crew. In October 2014, the Yankees hired him as a special assignment scout. He then joined the Angels after the 2015 season as a special assistant to general manager Billy Eppler, who was part of the front office that brought Chavez to New York before Eppler moved to Los Angeles in 2015.

Scioscia's 1,646 managerial victories are the most in franchise history. Bill Rigney (1961-69) ranks second with 625 wins. Replacing him with someone who has no experience as a big league manager may seem risky, but Chavez does have a good relationship with the general manager. 

"He can bring a high sense of baseball acumen in a number of areas, through experience, through just how he relates to people, how he'll relate to young players, older players, coaches, scouts, front office people," Eppler said of Chavez in October 2015, per MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. "He's just a really magnetic personality and someone I have a lot of trust and a lot of faith in."

The Angels' final 2018 game will take place Sunday.

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