It is widely speculated that the Los Angeles Angels will name Joe Maddon as their next manager and the news has caused a mini freakout amongst some Mariners fans.
But let’s be clear about one thing: Maddon to the Angels doesn’t hurt the Seattle Mariners at all. The Angels are still a mediocre team with a meddling owner and a mediocre GM. Billy Eppler will need to go about improving the team as Maddon can only do so much.
The Angels haven’t been able to win with Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton, Andrelton Simmons, Albert Pujols, and Kole Calhoun in the same lineup. In fact, they haven’t done any serious winning since Jerry Dipoto was the GM.
Joe Maddon can’t magically keep the starting rotation healthy. He can’t make Pujols stop aging. And he can’t sign players to contracts. At the end of the day, the Angels are still run by Arte Moreno and Billy Eppler, making the Angels just a mediocre .500 team.
Now, if the Angles sign Gerrit Cole and Mike Moustakas this off-season, we can start talking about them as a wild card contender in 2020. But until then, the Mariners are in a better position for the 2021-2024 seasons.
The Angels have a good farm system. They have the best player in the game and several potential All-Stars around him. And now, they may be adding a Top 5 manager in the game. As of right now, that means absolutely nothing because upper management is still garbage.
The Oakland A’s and Houston Astros are bigger threats to the Mariners rebuild than the Angels are, even if the add Cole this off-season. There is no proof that Eppler is a good GM and quite a bit of proof that Moreno is a bad owner. Until that changes, the Angels are just another team in the AL with or without Maddon.