Two teams came to mind for Perry Minasian as he considered the situation of the Los Angeles Angels and scrolled through his mental Rolodex in search of comparable clubs. First up were the 1995 Texas Rangers, a talented group wanting in spots yet still somewhat less than what should have been the collective sum of their parts. Next came the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays, who also very much fit that same description.
“After ‘14, we needed to make some additions, change the makeup of the club and we did that,” says Minasian, the rookie Angels GM who spent nine years with the Blue Jays and was pro scouting director at the time. “The '95 Rangers, kind of the same thing for me. Both teams had a lot of talent. We had some big-time players. But until we added some of those veteran guys, that’s what changed it. So that was kind of the thought behind this place. There are some really good players here. This is not a 100-loss team, five-, six-, eight-year rebuild.
"This is a team that could be competitive with some moves that make sense. I thought some veteran leadership was really important. And that was the game-plan going in.”
The moves made by the Rangers ahead the 1996 season and the Blue Jays before 2015 paid off with trips to the post-season, and Angels fans would love for that pattern to continue this fall, carrying superstar Mike Trout back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.