Angels owner says GM Jerry Dipoto “has complete power”

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In the wake of Tony Reagins stepping down as Angels general manager there were reports about how manager Mike Scioscia was truly running the show, but in introducing Jerry Dipoto yesterday owner Arte Moreno said the new GM “has complete power.”

Here’s what Dipoto said about Scioscia’s influence on roster moves:

I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat wondering if I was going to get steamrolled by Mike. At no time did this become a sticking point for me. I’ve worked in this business my entire adult life, for 24 years, and what might look unusual outside the league is very common to me. I love the opinion of baseball people. I love talking to strong-minded people.

And here’s what Scioscia had to say:

Jerry will get opinions from me, sometimes strong opinions. Sometimes he’ll act on them, sometimes he won’t. That’s how we’ve worked for 12 years.

It’s interesting how the quote progression works there. The owner says the new GM “has complete power.” The new GM says he welcomes opinions from the longtime manager. And the longtime manager says he plans to give the new GM plenty of strong opinions. Not quite a disconnect, but Dipoto truly having “complete power” without any influence from Scioscia is a tough sell at this point.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.