Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
Originally hired by the Angels in 2000, Scioscia was the longest-tenured manager in Major League Baseball. Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants was the only other skipper to be with the same team for at least 10 years when last season began.
Rumors of Scioscia’s departure picked up in August when The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported the 59-year-old would step down at the end of the season.
“Scioscia, nearing the completion of a 10-year, $50 million contract, is expected to step down at the end of the season, according to major league sources,” Rosenthal wrote. “His decision not to pursue a new deal would be his alone and not the result of pressure from the club, sources said.”
Following the 2017 campaign, Scioscia told reporters he wasn’t concerned about managing with just one year left on his contract.
“I am extremely excited about next year,” Scioscia said. “I wouldn’t be coming back unless [general manager] Billy [Eppler] and [owner] Arte [Moreno] had confidence in my ability in the dugout and with the team, so I’m excited about it. That’s it.”
At that same time, Eppler said the team was only looking toward the upcoming season.
“The focus is on 2018,” Eppler said. “We’ll discuss business beyond that at an appropriate time. We’re not focused on ’19. We’re focused on ’18. That’s solely what our whole mindset is right now. He’s comfortable with that. I’m comfortable with that. Arte is comfortable with that.”
Since winning the American League West with 98 victories in 2014, the Angels have missed the playoffs each of the last four years.
Time is of the essence in Los Angeles right now. Mike Trout is under contract for two more years. Shohei Ohtani had a terrific rookie year with a .930 OPS in 103 games as a hitter and 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings as a pitcher.
It’s unclear what Ohtani’s status for 2019 will be after the Angels recommended he undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. His presence in the lineup gives Los Angeles another superstar talent to pair with Trout to build around.
Scioscia led the Angels to seven postseason appearances, including a World Series title in 2002. Prior to his hiring as manager, the franchise made just three playoff appearances from 1961 to 1999.
He is the Angels’ all-time leader in games managed (3,078), wins (1,650) and win percentage (.536).
Despite a rough ending to Scioscia’s two-decade stint managing the Angels, his overall run with the club was a rousing success that took the team to heights it had never before experienced.