Scioscia and the new GM: setting boundaries

There is a perception in the media, among fans and around baseball that manager Mike Scioscia’s strong opinions on personnel matters could be an impediment to the Angels hiring a top-flight general manager.

Some have even suggested Scioscia is the de facto GM.

Scioscia took aim at that perception in an interview Tuesday with ESPN 710’s Mason and Ireland. Scioscia’s comments could be an indication that the power structure within the team could be shifting, opening the door to a higher profile for the incoming GM.

“I’m going to give opinions to him,” Scioscia said. “I don’t look at budgets. I don’t count money. I don’t look at other teams to see what trades are going to be made or facilitate or start that process. I think that’s the only way a manager can function.

“You can’t sit back and do a dual job – I’m just not capable of doing it.”

Tony Reagins stepped down as Angels GM on Sept. 30 under pressure from owner Arte Moreno. The Angels also dismissed Reagins’ top two assistants, the farm director and their longest-tenured pro scout. They have already interviewed a handful of candidates for Reagins replacement, including Tampa Bay Rays executive Andrew Friedman and the New York Yankees’ head scout, Damon Oppenheimer.

Scioscia has been with the Angels since 2000 and is signed through 2018. One major-league executive recently told ESPNLosAngeles.com that Scioscia’s strong personality makes the Anaheim job less appealing to some GM candidates.

“It’s a great job in the sense that it’s in a good city, it has a great owner and a packed stadium every night,” the source said. “On the other hand, you’ve got a manager who makes a lot more money than you who has more power than just about any other manager and he’s supposed to be working for you.”

The Angels are believed to be interested in a GM with a scouting background, but they also have had conversations with candidates whose specialties fall in the realms of contract negotiation and statistical analysis. Scioscia said someone with both backgrounds is ideal. Of all the candidates under consideration, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jerry Dipoto might best fit that set of criteria.

“You need a really deep understanding of the game of baseball both from a statistical analysis and also from a scouting background,” Scioscia said.

Scioscia said he has spoken with Bud Black and Joe Maddon, former coaches on his staff who now are major-league managers, and neither is interested in leaving the bench to become the Angels GM.