Jonathan Strangio and Steve Martone, the two assistant general managers left at the top of the Angels baseball operations department after Billy Eppler was fired, are both leaving the organization. Their contracts expired Saturday.
Strangio informed the club months ago of a plan to relocate to the East Coast for family reasons at the conclusion of his contract. The reason for Martone’s departure is unclear.
Strangio had spent nine years with the Angels, the last four as an assistant general manager. Martone was hired by Eppler early in his tenure.
The Angels are losing two of the top executives who could have helped to run the baseball operations while the club conducts a thorough search for Eppler’s replacement. So far there are 10 confirmed candidates on the list for interviews, with a decision not expected for at least a few weeks.
Tony La Russa, who had been a special assistant in baseball operations and was said to be helping to lead the department during the transition, is also now gone. La Russa was hired this week to manage the Chicago White Sox.
Former general manager Bill Stoneman, who has remained with the organization as a special assistant, could play a part in running the baseball operations until a new GM is hired. Stoneman was the Angels interim GM for three months between Jerry Dipoto’s resignation and Eppler’s hiring in 2015.
The most pressing order of business for whoever is in charge of the Angels’ baseball operations is a Sunday deadline for free agents to receive qualifying offers. Andrelton Simmons is the only player from the Angels would even be a candidate.
Considering the way the market has looked so far – with options declined and players being let go – it would seem unlikely that Simmons would receive the $18.9 million qualifying offer.
Immediately after the qualifying offer deadline at 2 p.m. PT Sunday, teams can begin negotiating with free agents from other clubs.