Angels May Be Looking at Athletics' Billy Owens to Fill General Manager Opening

John Hickey

This could be an interesting season for the Oakland A’s front office.

There are reports that executive vice president Billy Beane, who has been at the helm of Oakland’s on-field operation for more than two decades could be on the move, leaving baseball for European soccer.

And on Sunday, mlb.com reported that the Angels have put A’s assistant general manager/director of player personnel Billy Owens on their short list as they look for a new general manager. Billy Eppler was fired shortly after the Angels’ season ended on Sept. 27, the club’s fifth consecutive losing season.

Owens has worked his way up through the A’s system over the last two decades. A one-time third-round draft choice of the Baltimore Orioles in 1992, he played seven years in the minor leagues in the Baltimore and Houston organizations, twice making it to Triple-A in 1995 and 1996, but never playing in the Major Leagues.

He spent some time in the Oakland organization as a minor league hitting coach before moving into scouting and, eventually into the front office. He spent a dozen years as the director of player personnel before becoming one of the club’s assistant general managers five years ago.

Along the way he’s been regarded as one of the best judges of young talent, and the Angels, who have a mostly veteran big-league team, are thought to be looking to build from within, which would play to Owen’s strengths.

According to the MLB.com story, the Angels are looking at Josh Byrnes (currently with the Dodgers), Jason McLeod (Cubs), Jared Porter (Diamondbacks), Scott Sharp (Royals) and Logan White (Padres) in addition to Owens.

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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