Monday was one of the most stunning days baseball has seen in recent memory. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch, who oversaw several contending teams in Houston and led the club to a World Series championship, lost their jobs as a result of a sign-stealing scandal. Before accusations against the Astros arose several weeks ago, neither Luhnow nor Hinch looked likely to leave their posts for the foreseeable future. Now, though, the Astros are the lone team in baseball that doesn’t have a clear answer at either spot (though the Red Sox could join the Astros soon if the league drops the hammer on manager Alex Cora). But what about after the 2020 season? Which clubs could be in need then?
With help from the ever-valuable Cot’s Baseball Contracts, let’s take a look at clubs whose GMs and/or managers are entering contract years. As a reminder, this list might not be complete or fully accurate. Some teams may have extended their lame-duck executives/skippers and not publicized those moves yet, for instance, while other individuals in those spots could have less job security than it appears.
Angels: Entering the 2016 season, the Angels hired general manager Billy Eppler to helm a franchise led by all-world center fielder Mike Trout. As was the case then, Trout remains on a collision course with a Cooperstown plaque. The problem is that the Angels have continually failed to take advantage of his presence. Since Eppler came aboard, they haven’t even posted a .500 season. They’re also on their third manager (Mike Scioscia, whom Eppler inherited, then Brad Ausmus and now Joe Maddon) since their GM assumed the reins. Eppler has been rather aggressive this offseason as he works on a turnaround, though, having signed third baseman Anthony Rendon to a seven-year, $235MM contract, picked up catcher Jason Castro and added starters Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy. The acquisition of a much-needed front-line rotation piece this winter has eluded Eppler, who will perhaps keep trying to land one before the season. Regardless, it appears to be put up-or-shut up time for Eppler. Should the Angels fail to make significant progress in the upcoming campaign, it seems likely they’ll have a new GM a year from now.