Angels pick up GM Dipoto's 2016 option

Angels pick up GM Dipoto's 2016 option

ANAHEIM -- The Angels have picked up the 2016 option on general manager Jerry Dipoto's contract.

Dipoto took over after the 2011 season and signed a three-year deal with club options for 2015 and '16. Dipoto's 2015 option was exercised early in the 2014 season and his 2016 option was exercised two or three months ago but not announced until MLB.com broke the news on Friday.

An extension beyond 2016 hasn't been discussed.

Dipoto, 47, joined the Angels as a rookie GM and was immediately tasked with navigating around the pricey free-agent signings of Albert Pujols (10 years, $240 million) and Josh Hamilton (five years, $125 million), while keeping the team below the $189 million luxury-tax threshold.

Dipoto's highlights include extending Mike Trout, signing C.J. Wilson and Joe Smith, trading for the likes of Huston Street, David Freese and Johnny Giavotella, and building starting-pitching depth throughout the organization. His lowlights were most glaring during the 2013 season, when offseason pickups Joe Blanton, Tommy Hanson, Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson all underperformed.

"Jerry and his staff have continued to demonstrate strong leadership skills throughout our organization," Angels president John Carpino said in a statement after the club announced the decision on Friday. "We are proud of Jerry's body of work, as evidenced by last year's club, which won 98 games. We believe exercising Jerry's option through 2016 is a good business and baseball decision."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia has his own opt-out, which allows him to either walk away from his deal after this season or stay until 2018. Scioscia can't officially make that decision until after the season, though.

Scioscia declined to comment when asked about his contract situation recently, saying only: "There's always change that comes with time. 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."

Worth noting

• The Angels are not among the teams in pursuit of highly touted Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez, a source said. Because of the Roberto Baldoquin signing, the Angels can't spend more than $300,000 on an international player in the next two international signing periods. The current signing period ends Monday, but the Angels will not splurge on another player before they're restricted.

• After Friday's 5-4 win, the Angels optioned right-hander Drew Rucinski back to Triple-A Salt Lake. Rucinski is a starting pitcher who was only up to provide length out of the bullpen. The Angels will probably call up a traditional relief pitcher on Saturday.

• Outfielder Collin Cowgill, on the disabled list since May 28 because of a sprained right wrist, took batting practice the last couple days and Scioscia said he's "trying to nurse through some stiffness on his hand." Cowgill will stay away from swinging until the pain subsides.

Cowgill's triple

Cory Rasmus, sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair a core injury in Spring Training, continues to face hitters in Arizona and will start pitching in games "tomorrow or the next day," Scioscia said. Rasmus could return before the end of the month.

Mike Morin, nursing a left oblique strain since May 24, threw off a mound for the first time prior to Friday's game. Morin threw 18 pitches and said he felt good, but Scioscia said it's "just a first step for Mike."

"He has a ways to go, but just to get out there and get on a mound and at least get through his delivery is important."

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.