Angels GM Tony Reagins steps down
The Los Angeles Angels have accepted the resignation of general manager Tony Reagins, the team announced Friday.
"Though we finished 2011 with a winning record, we remained short of our objective in winning a championship," Angels owner Arte Moreno said in a statement. "In moving forward, we felt a change was needed."
Reagins, who joined the Angels as an intern 20 years ago, had some successes as GM -- swinging trades for Mark Teixeira and Dan Haren among them. Most recently, Reagins worked out a five-year, $85 million contract extension with ace Jered Weaver that will keep him in Anaheim through 2016.
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But Reagins also had some big misses. The Angels acquired Scott Kazmir from the Tampa Bay Rays after the non-waiver trading deadline in 2009 and got scant production from Kazmir before releasing him earlier this season and swallowing roughly $14.5 million.
Reagins also was widely criticized in January for trading Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera to the Toronto Blue Jays for Vernon Wells. The Angels took on $81 million in contract obligations in that deal. Wells had the lowest on-base percentage (.248) in the majors for hitters who qualified this season, while Napoli batted .320 with 30 home runs, both career highs.
"At the end of the day, if you perform, you get rewarded. If you don't perform, you have to be accountable," Reagins said. "I felt accountable based on the expectations I placed on myself. From Arte's perspective, he wants to win. He wants to bring a winning ballclub year in, year out to this fan base, to fans across baseball."
The Angels don't have long to come up with a successor, with the free-agency period just around the corner in November. Team president John Carpino said club executives will meet this weekend to come up with a list of GM candidates. New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is in the final season of his three-year deal. The Angels also could choose from a pool of younger assistant GMs, including the Texas Rangers' Thad Levine and the Oakland Athletics' David Forst.
"We're trying to get the right person who will be here long-term and fulfill our goals," Carpino said. "Whoever that person is, whether it's a big name or not, we're looking for someone who possesses those skills. The big name is not always the right person; sometimes they are."
The Angels hired Reagins, then the team's farm director, in 2007 after Bill Stoneman retired. Like Stoneman, Reagins will remain with the club. Reagins will be a special assistant to team chairman Dennis Kuhl.
In his four seasons as GM, the Angels won two American League West titles and went 363-285. In 2008, the year he traded for Teixeira in July, they had the best record in baseball at 100-62.
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com.