The Los Angeles Angels are down to five finalists for their general manager vacancy, a role that could be filled as soon as next week, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.
The final five are: Justin Hollander, vice president and assistant GM in baseball operations for the Seattle Mariners; Jason McLeod, senior vice president and player personnel for the Chicago Cubs; Perry Minasian, senior vice president and assistant GM in baseball operations for the Atlanta Braves; Jared Porter and Amiel Sawdaye, both of whom have the title of senior vice president and assistant GM for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Athletic first reported the final candidates.
Sawdaye, part of three World Series championship teams with the Boston Red Sox, focuses more on amateur and international scouting, while Porter, who was previously part of ending an even longer championship drought with the Cubs, is said to have more experience with roster construction.
McLeod spent eight years as senior vice president of player development and amateur scouting with the Cubs before a promotion to his current role in September 2019. Prior to that, McLeod directed drafts for the Red Sox under current Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. Hollander, who currently assists former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto in all aspects of major league operations in Seattle, served in a variety of roles with the Angels from 2008 to 2016.
Minasian was hired by former Braves GM John Coppolella about a month before Coppolella was forced to resign amid rules violations in the international market in October 2017, then was elevated to his current position when Alex Anthopoulos took over shortly thereafter. Prior to joining the Braves, Minasian spent nine years filling a variety of scouting roles with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Hollander has a long relationship with Angels owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino, who are spearheading the search for a new GM. But McLeod and Porter have a prior working relationship with Angels manager Joe Maddon, who will have a major say.
The opening comes as a result of Billy Eppler being fired after a five-year run as the Angels’ GM. Whoever wins the job will continue a trend of Moreno hiring only first-year GMs since he took over as owner in 2003.
The Angels interviewed nearly 20 people initially. Part of that process, industry sources said, included a series of prolonged conversations with longtime scouting director Eddie Bane, who conducted several successful drafts before being let go in 2010. It’s unclear, however, whether Bane was technically a candidate for their GM opening or if the Angels mainly wanted his insight on how they could improve organizationally.