01/06/09 3:54 PM EST
Scioscia's deal longer than reported
Halos manager to remain with team through 2018 season
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Scioscia would not confirm it on Tuesday, but the source told MLB.com that the extension will carry through 2018, which, if fulfilled, would give him a 19-year run at the helm. The agreement was finalized after extensive meetings involving owner Arte Moreno, general manager Tony Reagins and Scioscia, the club's manager since 2000.
"It's a significant commitment on both sides," Scioscia said. "I won't comment on any of the terms, but Arte and Tony have reached out and shown a great deal of confidence in this extension with the direction we're going. I'm very happy with this opportunity to keep pushing forward with what we're doing."
The Angels led the Majors in wins with 100 in 2008, a franchise record, before falling to the Red Sox in four games in the American League Division Series. The AL West title was the Angels' fourth in five seasons.
Scioscia spent his formative years as a player in the Dodgers' organization, where continuity was valued highly. Walter Alston (24 consecutive seasons) and Tommy Lasorda (19 full seasons) were the only managers the franchise employed from 1954-95.
Sciosica's .551 winning percentage through nine seasons as the Angels' most successful manager is second among active skippers behind Bobby Cox's .557 and makes him No. 22 on the all-time list. It is higher than Lasorda's .526 career mark and within range of Alston's .558.
Among those with lower winning percentages than Scioscia are such legendary field commanders as Sparky Anderson (.545), Leo Durocher (.540), Joe Torre (.538), Tony La Russa (.534), Whitey Herzog (.532) and Casey Stengel (.508).
Lasorda won two World Series (1981 and 1988) with Scioscia as his catcher, and Scioscia added another ring in 2002 with the Angels' only World Series championship in his third year on the job.
"I think if you're going to continue to achieve and move in the right direction, the only real job security is performance," Scioscia said. "What's written in a contract isn't going to guarantee anything.
"If you want to do things like Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda, like Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox, other managers who have been in one place a long time, you have to keep moving forward and progressing and achieving. That's our focus as a staff."
Scioscia's coaching staff -- bench coach Ron Roenicke, hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, pitching coach Mike Butcher, first-base coach Alfredo Griffin, third-base coach Dino Ebel and bullpen coaches Orlando Mercado and Steve Soliz -- is returning intact to continue that dynamic.
"Those guys are successful," Scioscia said. "We have an outstanding staff, a terrific staff. I think those guys are all free thinkers, and that's important. The input they give is critical to us. We continue to evolve as a staff. Those guys speak their mind and have great insights to prepare guys to play. We're very happy with our staff."
|"If you want to do things like Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda, like Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox, other managers who have been in one place a long time, you have to keep moving forward and progressing and achieving. That's our focus as a staff."|
-- Angels manager|
Scioscia will have a new closer, with free agent Brian Fuentes coming aboard to replace Francisco Rodriguez, the Mets' new finisher. Fuentes adds a left-handed hammer to the back end of the bullpen, joining right-handers Scot Shields, Justin Speier and Jose Arredondo in what the manager projects as another strong unit in spite of the record-setting K-Rod's exit.
"We're very happy to have Brian," Scioscia said, "and we feel we have some good options with power arms in our bullpen."
Jon Garland's impending departure as a free agent after deciding not to accept salary arbitration creates a vacancy in the rotation. Kelvim Escobar, recovering from shoulder surgery, isn't expected to be ready until midseason. Dustin Moseley, who has had his moments as an emergency starter the past two seasons, figures to get first crack at the No. 5 slot in competition with the likes of Anthony Ortega, Shane Loux, Nick Adenhart and Nick Green.
Ortega, a 23-year-old right-hander from Venezuela, opened organizational eyes with a sterling 2008 season at Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake and could be the sleeper with his low 90s fastball, curve and changeup.
While surrendering their first-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft with their singing of Fuentes, a Type A free agent, the Angels are still well stocked to replenish the farm system.
At the moment, they stand to own four of the top 38 picks as compensation for the exits of Teixeira and K-Rod. They'll get No. 25 overall, the Mets' top pick, and No. 26, the Yankees' first-rounder, along with sandwich picks 38 (for Teixeira) and 39 (for K-Rod).
Garland, a Type B free agent, will yield another compensation pick if he signs with another club.
"Other than Mike's extension, things are pretty quiet," Reagins said, adding that he sees "nothing imminent" and that the club, as presently constituted, very well could be the one that gathers in Tempe, Ariz., next month for Spring Training.
"We like our team," Reagins said. "We think we're going to be highly competitive again."
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.