The Angels relieved scouting director Ric Wilson of his duties on Friday and have offered him another position in the organization, BA correspondent Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reported late Thursday night.
Wilson, 56, had been the Angels’ scouting director since 2011 when he was hired to replace Eddie Bane, who had been fired by then-general manager Tony Reagins.
"We'd like to keep him in an evaluative role in amateur scouting, but we felt this was the best decision from an organizational standpoint," Angels GM Billy Eppler told the Times. "Ric is a tremendously loyal employee and a phenomenal human being. He helps bond scouts together. He is a picture of optimism, the definition of a company man."
During Wilson's tenure, the Angels’ farm system fell to the bottom of the industry, for a variety of reasons not all tied to the draft. The main reason were the Angels' lack of first-round picks in 2012 and 2013 after the signing of free agents Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton; trades of high draft picks from the 2014 draft, first-round lefthander Sean Newcomb and third-round righthander Chris Ellis, to the Braves last offseason for Andrelton Simmons; as well as one of the game’s least productive international signing departments over the last five years.
Wilson, a 1981 first-round selection the June secondary draft out of Arizona State, played catcher in the Mariners organization from 1981-86. He was previously the Angels’ national crosschecker from 2003-10.
His tenure as scouting director came amidst tumultuous times in the Angels organization. He had four different GMs in five years—Reagins, Jerry Dipoto, interim Bill Stoneman and Eppler—and was charged with carrying out different philosophies under all of them.
Wilson also had the tough task of following Bane, whose successful tenure from 2004-2010 including the drafting of Mike Trout, Jered Weaver, Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin, Tyler Chatwood, Kole Calhoun, Randal Grichuck, Jordan Walden, Cam Bedrosian, Peter Bourjos and Will Smith. The Angels also drafted Matt Harvey and Brian Matusz out of high school under Bane but were unable to sign them.
Reagins controversially fired Bane in September 2010, reportedly citing his "poor" draft record.
“Tony and I don’t like each other,” Bane said in a 2011 interview with the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin. “I don’t think that’s a reason to get fired. Personality clashes are never any fun. I don’t blame him for thinking I’m not the greatest guy in the world. He’s not a guy I would want to hang out with. I’m sure he feels the same way about me.
“He told me, ‘I’m not happy with the last three drafts.’ That’s ludicrous.”
Those last three drafts Reagins referred to included the selections of Trout, Richards, Corbin, Skaggs and Chatwood.
Wilson was promoted to scouting director shortly thereafter. Less than a year later, on Sept. 30, 2011, Reagins resigned as general manager, starting the cycling in and out of GMs overseeing Wilson.
Eppler is compiling a list of candidates to replace Wilson and will begin interviews "in the near term" according to the Times.