Jerry Dipoto loses power struggle with Mike Scioscia, steps down as Angels general manager

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Making official what was reported last night, Jerry Dipoto has resigned as Angels general manager, stepping down from the job he’s held since 2011 after losing an apparent power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia.

Stories about Dipoto and Scioscia not getting along well have been common for the past 2-3 years, but the relationship apparently reached a boiling point recently and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com documented the drama in a lengthy article detailing the feud.

Some reports today suggested that Angels owner Arte Moreno would try to talk Dipoto out of leaving the job, hoping to salvage the relationship or at least keep other members of the front office from leaving along with him, but that apparently failed.

Dipoto’s decision-making track record is a mixed bag, but it’s worth noting that some of his least successful moves–and specifically signing Josh Hamilton for $125 million–were forced upon him by Moreno and Scioscia has also played a role in some prominent personnel changes that turned out poorly for the Angels.

Scioscia is the longest-tenured manager in baseball with 16 years on the job and also reportedly had star first baseman Albert Pujols on his side, so it’s no surprise that Moreno picked them over Dipoto. In fact, Dipoto’s predecessor, Tony Reagins, was fired at least in part because he clashed with Scioscia.

For better or worse, Moreno is standing with Scioscia.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.