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SALT LAKE CITY — As the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, the Salt Lake Bees have to deal with plenty of call ups every season.
But Sunday’s roster move was a curveball, even for that club.
Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson will join the Major League staff of the Angels beginning Sunday, the Bees announced in the early afternoon. Former MLB standout Eric Chavez, who spent 17 years in the majors, will take over managerial responsibilities until the end of the 2018 season.
Chavez, a career .268 hitter with 260 home runs, spent 13 seasons with the Oakland A’s before finishing out his career with two seasons each with the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks. The 6-foot-1 former third baseman was drafted 10th overall by the A’s in the 1996 MLB draft and went on to become an MVP and Golden Glove candidate during the peak of his career from 2002-2006.
He was on the bench during first pitch for the Bees’ Sunday evening game at Omaha.
The move came less than 12 hours after The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Angels skipper Mike Scioscia was considering stepping down at the end of the 2018 season. Scioscia has spent 19 seasons at the helm of the Anaheim franchise, and he quickly denied the report prior to the Angels' game at Cleveland.
Scioscia signed a 10-year, $50 million contract a decade ago that ends at the end of the season, but he emphasized to the Angels press corps that nothing has changed since the end of last season.
"Nothing has changed since we talked in October," Scioscia said. "Sometimes there is always chatter out there, and the only word I have for it is 'poppy cock.'"