Scioscia can opt out of contract following '15

Scioscia can opt out of contract following '15

ANAHEIM -- Could baseball's longest-tenured manager be in the midst of his final season with the Angels?

It's all up to Mike Scioscia himself.

Scioscia signed a 10-year extension that runs through 2018 in January 2009, but that contract gives him the ability to opt out after this season. If he does, Scioscia would leave $18 million on the table to hit the proverbial free-agent market. If he doesn't, he'll stay in Southern California for at least an additional three years.

The decision can't officially be made until the end of this season, an industry source said.

"I would never comment on anything regarding the details of my contract," Scioscia said when approached about the subject prior to Friday's game against Detroit.

Scioscia, 56, is easily the most successful manager in Angels history.

Since taking over in 2000, eight years after his final season playing in the Majors, he's led the franchise to its only World Series championship and six American League West titles, including five from 2004-09. Entering Friday, Scioscia has compiled 1,355 wins -- 29th most all time -- and a .547 winning percentage. And in an era dominated by managerial turnover, he's been a rare constant.

In the 16 years Scioscia has been with the Angels, 20 teams have gone through at least five managers and seven of them -- Marlins, Nationals, Cubs, Reds, D-backs, Astros and Mariners -- have had at least eight.

Scioscia's deal was ironclad, his job security unwavering -- but his opt-out provides a window for change.

Scioscia refused to address the matter, though people familiar with his thinking say he has no plans to retire after the season and continues to enjoy managing the Angels. He is forever appreciative of the opportunities the organization has given him and loves working for an owner, Arte Moreno, who spends to field a competitor every year.

But things can change, especially with four full months still remaining in the regular season.

Maybe the Phillies (from Scioscia's hometown) or Dodgers (Scioscia's longtime team) show interest. Maybe Moreno eventually decides a change would be best, a sentiment Scioscia is said to be sympathetic toward. Maybe Scioscia himself decides it's time to move on, like his good friend, Cubs skipper Joe Maddon, did with the Rays last offseason.

A lot can happen -- none of which Scioscia has any interest in talking about.

"There's always change that comes with time," Scioscia said, in no specific terms. "I've gone through them already through 16 years, with just growing as a person, growing as an individual. I love what I do, I love where I am. That's it."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.