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Owner's inaction could bode well for Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia

October 01, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto, left, and Manager Mike Scioscia could return to their roles with the organization next season despite the team's disappointing 78-84 season, finishing out of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto, left, and Manager Mike Scioscia could… (LM Otero / Associated Press…)

No news is not necessarily good news for Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto and Manager Mike Scioscia, but it’s certainly better than bad news.

A second day passed on Tuesday with owner Arte Moreno taking no action on the front office chief and the field boss, further fueling the belief that both will return in 2014 despite another highly disappointing season in which the Angels missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Both men are under contract, Scioscia for five more years and about $27 million and Dipoto for one more year, and the team is under no obligation to make any kind of public announcement that both will be retained.

But amid reports late in 2012 that there was a rift between Scioscia and Dipoto and that one or the other -- or both -- could be dismissed, Moreno made a point of killing that speculation, telling the team’s website that Dipoto and Scioscia would return in 2013.

Amid even heavier speculation this August and September that Dipoto or Scioscia or both could be fired, there has been no such public statement.

Dipoto, despite his seemingly tenuous grip on his job, has taken a business-as-usual approach. He worked out of the office for the second straight day on Tuesday and was said to be addressing “normal housekeeping” details from this season and planning for 2014. Moreno was not in the office Monday or Tuesday.

If Dipoto, 45, is retained, his biggest challenge will be bolstering the Angels’ sagging rotation while keeping the team’s luxury tax payroll under the $189-million threshold.

It’s a predicament that will probably force him to trade higher-salaried hitters such as Howie Kendrick, who averages $8.75 million in a four-year deal, and Mark Trumbo, who could make $6 million in arbitration next season, for young, relatively inexpensive pitchers.

For luxury tax payroll purposes, the Angels already have about $132 million allocated to 10 players in 2014, including $25 million to Josh Hamilton, $24 million to Albert Pujols and $16.2 million to Vernon Wells, who was traded to the New York Yankees last spring.

Arbitration-eligible players could add $25 million or more to the payroll, and players with less than three years experience, as well as benefits and bonuses for all players on the 40-man roster, could add $10 million to $15 million to that figure.

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