Angels owner Arte Moreno exploring potential sale: What it would mean for the Halos and Shohei Ohtani


Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno announced Tuesday that he has begun a formal process to “evaluate strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the team”. Moreno bought the Angels from Disney for $180 million in May 2003, a few months after the franchise won its only World Series championship.

Here’s Moreno’s statement about a potential sale:

“It has been a great honor and privilege to own the Angels for 20 seasons. As an organization, we have worked to provide our fans with an affordable and family-friendly baseball experience, while having competitive lineups, including some of the all-time best of the game. players.”

“While this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a lot of thoughtful consideration, my family and I have finally come to the conclusion that now is the time. Throughout this process, we will continue to run the franchise for the benefit of our fans, employees, players and business partners.”

This news comes three months after the Anaheim City Council annulled a $320 million deal to sell the 153-acre Angel Stadium property to Moreno, who would then have developed the property. The deal was illegally negotiated and the city council paid a $96 million fine following an FBI corruption investigation into former Mayor Harry Sidhu. Sidhu resigned shortly afterwards.

Moreno, 76, is the sole non-white principal owner of MLB. He will leave behind a complicated legacy, one in which he consistently spent money on the big league team, but interfered too often in day-to-day operations, and reportedly went over the head of the front office to broker several major free-agent contracts. The Angels were among the first teams to give workers leave during the pandemic shutdown in 2020, and Moreno pushed for the cancellation of that year’s amateur draw as a cost-cutting move.

The Angels haven’t been in the postseason since 2014 and haven’t won a postseason game since 2009. With the caveat that a lot can change between now and a sale, the next Angels owner will inherit a team with several expensive long-term contracts. Also, the Angels are currently being sued by the family of former pitcher Tyler Skaggs following his drug-related death in 2019.

Here are three things to know about the fallout from the news that Moreno is investigating a sale of the Angels.

Ohtani’s future is even cloudier

When a team is put up for sale, it creates a lot of uncertainty. Will the new owner come in and pour money into the roster in an effort to compete as Steve Cohen against the Mets? Or will he give permission to tear down and rebuild? The argument can be made that the Angels need a rebuild. On the other hand, new owners usually like to come in and make a splash.

Shohei Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, is slated to become a free agent after next season. He has stated that winning is the top priority, and the Angels don’t. Can a new owner come in and convince Ohtani to sign for the long term? Secure. Can a new owner come in and realize that trading Ohtani, while painful, is the best way forward? Also sure.

It should be noted that an Ohtani trade would be extremely unpopular with the Angels fan base, in which case prospective owners might want the Moreno regime to make that trade so they can get in and be the good ones. The Nationals, which are also on sale, essentially followed that blueprint with Juan Soto. The current owner has removed the plaster. The new owner gets a clean slate.

A new owner would also create uncertainty about Mike Trout’s future. Now 31, Trout is signed to 2030 with huge dollars, and injuries have become more frequent in recent years. Trout has complete no-trade protection and determines its own fate. The question is whether a new owner would keep Trout and build around him, or try to sell him on the idea of ​​a fresh start elsewhere.

There will be two MLB teams for sale

As noted, the Nationals are also for sale. A legal battle between the Angelos family has led to speculation that the Orioles could also be sold. The Nationals are definitely up for sale, but that complicates things for both Washington and the Angels. Neither is the only team now up for sale, meaning they will be competing for the same potential owners.

Cohen bought the Mets in November 2020 for about $2.4 billion. The Royals were sold to John Sherman for $1 billion in 2019 and the Marlins were sold to Bruce Sherman for $1.2 billion in 2017. As a big market team in Southern California, the Angels think they’re hitting a price much closer to what the Mets were selling for than the Royals and Marlins.

There could be a new stadium

Moreno has been trying to get a new stadium for several years now and the new owner will presumably take over. Angel Stadium is the fourth oldest stadium in the major leagues, after Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium, and the team’s lease runs until 2029. So a new stadium is not an urgent matter as it is for, say , the Athletics , but it is certainly a top priority for the next owner.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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