The Angels have declined the option on Phil Nevin’s contract for next year, the team announced Monday, marking the end of his managerial tenure in Anaheim.
The Angels finished 73-89 and fourth in the AL West. Nevin’s first managerial position concluded with a 119-149 career record.
The team will begin its search for a new manager for 2024 — its fifth different manager in seven seasons.
General manager Perry Minasian is scheduled to speak to members of the media on Tuesday.
Nevin initially joined the Angels coaching staff for the 2022 season as the third base coach. He was promoted to manager on an interim basis, his first at the major league level, after Joe Maddon’s firing amid a 14-game losing streak during late May and early June 2022.
By August 2022, team owner Arte Moreno began exploring the sale of the team, which would finish 73-89 (46-60 under Nevin) and third in the American League West, its best finish in the division since 2017.
Before the final game of the 2022 season, Nevin was offered a one-year contract to return as the Angels manager, an opportunity he had been chasing for quite some time.
“It certainly means a lot,” Nevin said at the time. “It wasn’t exactly how I envisioned these things happening, but I know I’ve been given a heck of an opportunity.”
He went into the offseason with visions of hope and a plan for success for the 2023 season. It began with adding familiar faces to improve the Angels’ offense, an area of great struggle for them in 2022. Marcus Thames and Phil Plantier were brought in as the new hitting coach and assistant hitting coach, respectively, both former colleagues of Nevin’s when all were with the New York Yankees.
“I’m not here to make friends or anything like that, I’m here to make those guys better,” Nevin said throughout the year.
Over his tenure in Anaheim, Nevin had earned the respect of his players, who often described him as a player’s manager and a baseball rat. Veterans and rookies, newcomers to the team and established players talked about how much they loved playing for him.
“I love Phil, I love playing for Phil,” Mike Trout said in his final media scrum of the year. “He takes care of his guys, he wants the best for the team.”
The care Nevin showed toward his players was evident, whether it was his fiery storms out of the dugout to stand up for players to the umpires, or when he would break from his typical serious demeanor ever so slightly and get teary-eyed with how happy he was for one of his players.
Despite the Angels’ struggles, Nevin called his managerial position “a dream job.” And despite the losses, Nevin played an important role in keeping the clubhouse unified.
“I don’t think the room would be as glued together or as on the same page if it weren’t for [Nevin],” Angels rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe said in July.
The strength of the clubhouse was something that made him proud, Nevin said, up until his very last game of the 2023 season.
“I know it didn’t go the way we wanted it, but I’m proud of the way that room held together,” Nevin said after Sunday’s season finale. “It’s not fun ending the way we did, but it’s a great group in there, there’s a lot of good things that are on the horizon here with the young players and the guys coming back. Good future.”