Oppenheimer, the Director of Player Personnel for the Yankees since 2001, is mainly known for his work as the Yankees' draft guru, as Jon Heyman notes.
damon oppenheimer, candidate for
#LAAngels GM, picked 10 big leaguers in '06 yankees draft, incl. kennedy, joba, robertson
While some aren't fans of Oppenheimer's recent draft strategies, you can't deny that Oppenheimer has helped the Yankees more than he has hurt the Yankees, which is not something you can say about most Yankees executives.
The personal fear here is that Oppenheimer will be hired by the Angels, and the Yankees will hire a puppet for Randy Levine to be the new Director of Player of Personnel.
There are even more factors to this, as well.
The Arizona Diamondbacks considered Oppenheimer for their GM role, but hired Kevin Towers away from the Yankees instead. Towers built the Diamondbacks into the NL West champions in one year. The Yankees lost a smart mind with Towers, and if Oppenheimer leaves, not only could the Yankees lose a smart mind, but the Angels could improve. Imagine the Angels, but instead of trading for Vernon Wells, making wise baseball decisions. The Yankees-Angels "rivalry" may become more tense.
The Los Angeles Angels could become a trade partner, and this is both a good, and a bad thing. Dan Haren and Ervin Santana are both free agents in 2013, if Santana's $13 million club option is declined. Let's say the Angels struggle next year, Oppenheimer could choose to deal with the Yankees, as he would be familiar with the prospects in the Yankees system.
Great, the Yankees have a team they can trade with. The negative to this is the same as the positive.
He would be familiar with the prospects in the Yankees system.
I worry about the Yankees trading with the Diamondbacks, and if Oppenheimer is hired, I'll worry about trading with the Angels. Oppenheimer will know the "unknowns" of the system, and request them in possible trades. The Yankees would have to be very careful in possible deals.
Overall, I'd be sorry to see Oppenheimer go, but I always root for people in the Yankees organization to be promoted. One of my birthday wishes will be to see Oppenheimer to go to a team in the NL, if he has to go somewhere else.