Klentak on leaving the Orioles

Matt Klentak, who left the Orioles organization after four years to join the Angels as assistant general manager, said Friday that –while the decision was difficult to leave Baltimore—the career opportunity was too good to pass up.

Klentak, 31, served as the Orioles’ director of baseball operations and while he will continue to work on arbitration and contractual issues in Anaheim he is expected to be more involved in day-to-day operations in working with new Angels’ GM Jerry Dipoto.

“We are in a larger payroll,” Klentak said of one of the biggest differences in his new organization.

“It is difficult to leave the Orioles…I have all the respect in the world for the Angelos family and I thank them for all their support over the years. I give a ton of thanks to [former president of baseball operations] Andy MacPhail for taking the chance on me. I was a relatively unproven guy, and he continued to challenge me, he was a terrific boss for four years. I hold Jerry Dipoto in similarly high regard and I look forward to working with him.”

As for his new –and now former – boss in Baltimore, Klentak said Dan Duquette, named executive vice president of baseball operations earlier this month, couldn’t have been better about the whole situation.

“None of this was going on behind the scenes, Dan knew what was going on” Klentak said of his conversations with Dipoto, which really started to take shape at the general managers’ meetings. “He was supportive of me, and supportive of whatever decision I made. I felt either way, whether I went to the Angels or elected to stay in Baltimore, I was still choosing before two very good options. And that’s what made this a very difficult decision.”

Ultimately, the cache in a better title and the opportunity to work with Dipoto and a bigger payroll won out and Klentak made the decision to accept the Angels’ multi-year deal on Tuesday with word leaking out the following day. Klentak, who spent last weekend in Orange County with his wife, Lauren, said the Angels’ organization has been extremely accommodating and is looking forward to the next step in his career.

“I’ve made a lot of close friends here, a lot people I’ve worked with its going to be weird to not talk to them every day,” said Klentak, who maintains he will still keep close tabs on the Orioles. “But I’m confident the Angels have a lot of great people and I’m looking forward to getting to know them in working with them.”

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