It was announced back in August that Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno had put the MLB franchise on the market with the intention of selling the Southern California-based organization.
For a lot of Angels fans, this seemed to be good news. After all, the team has been completely irrelevant for a large majority of Moreno’s tenure as its owner.
About that? The Moreno family shockingly reversed course on Monday, announcing that they are no longer planning to sell the Angels.
“During this process, it became clear that we have unfinished business and feel we can make a positive impact on the future of the team and the fan experience. This offseason we committed to a franchise record player payroll and still want to accomplish our goal of bringing a World Series Championship back to our fans. We are excited about this next chapter of Angels baseball.”Los Angeles Angels press release
Indeed. Los Angeles does have the 10th-highest payroll in MLB heading into Spring Training at $172.69 million. It avoided arbitration with stud two-way player Shohei Ohtani, signing him to a record one-year, $30 million contract. The Angels also doled out a nice amount of cash to pitcher Tyler Anderson and utility man Brandon Drury.
Shohei Ohtani’s future with Los Angeles Angels now in question
It’s expected that Moreno and the Angels are not going to be able to retain Ohtani long-term. He’s set to hit free agency after the 2023 season. Recent reports indicate that Ohtani’s free-agent deal will likely eclipse $500 million in total value.
Even with a net worth of $4.1 billion and existing in the nation’s second-larget media market, Moreno is seemingly prepared to lose Ohtani. There were reports of a potential blockbuster trade during the 2022 season. This could come up again during the 2023 campaign should the Angels’ struggles continue and it become clear Ohtani will not re-sign.
Moreno purchased the Los Angeles Angels from The Walt Disney Company back in April of 2003 for $180 million, months after they won the World Series. Since then, it’s been a complete dumpster fire in Southern California.
Under Moreno’s watch, these Angels have missed the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons. They lost 89 games in 2022 and have one postseason appearance since 2009.