1:19 PM ET
Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer
- ESPN baseball reporter. Covered on ESPN’s Los Angeles Rams from 2016 to 2018 and the Los Angeles Angels from 2012 to 2016 on MLB.com.
Los Angeles Angels subject to change of ownership.
Art Moreno, who has presided over the team for the better part of the past two decades, has “initiated a formal process to evaluate strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the team ,” announced Tuesday. About the potential new ownership structure, and whether it could be a single person, a group or something else, a person familiar with the matter said.
“While this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved careful consideration, my family and I have finally come to the conclusion that now is the time,” Moreno, 76, said in a statement. wrote in the statement. “Throughout this process, we will continue to run this team in the best interests of our fans, employees, players and business partners.”
Moreno and his team Galatioto Sports Partners was retained as financial advisor during this process. GSP President Sal Galatioto and Managing Director Brad Katcher were part of the team representing The Walt Disney Company in the 2003 sale of Angels to Moreno.
The World Series champion at the time, Moreno, the first Mexican-American to become the majority owner of a major league team, was initially a popular figure. He lowered beer prices, splurged on high-priced free agents like Vladimir Guerrero and Bartolo Colon, and helped lead the most successful sustained run in franchise history, starting in 2004 with the Angels in six Won five division championships in 2009.
The Angels are firmly at the top of the list, with Bill Stoneman as general manager and Mike Scioscia as GM for a long time. The farm system continues to produce elite talent such as Eric Eibar, Howie Kendrick and Jared Weaver, with a strong payroll bolstering the team, with at least 3 million fans attending the Angels’ stadium each year .
But the Angels have made the playoffs only once since 2009, and with a 52-71 record, are heading toward their seventh straight losing season . They’ve hired a generation of talent in Mike Trout for more than a decade and have enjoyed a historic performance from the two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani over the past two seasons, but a bloated contract portfolio — the previous Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, now Anthony Rendon — — in recent years, poor farm systems have kept them away from competition.
As their playoff absences mount, Moreno has come under fire for meddling in baseball’s operational decisions, refusing to exceed MLB’s luxury tax threshold and failing to make The Angels’ player development efforts are devoting sufficient resources. The team’s salaries rank among the top three in the industry in each of Moreno’s years in charge, but many of the team’s signings in recent years have backfired. turnover in recent years. In the 15 years since Stoneman’s ouster, they have hired four general managers — Tony Riggins, Jerry Dipoto, Billy Eppler, and now Perry Minasian. Brad Ausmus replaced Scioscia as manager in 2019 and a year later by Joe Maddon, who was sacked in early June as a long losing streak came to an end.
The team is expected to conduct a full management search this offseason.
The potential sale of teams during that time makes Daegu’s future seem even more ambiguous. The reigning American League MVP is a free agent at the end of the 2023 season, and there has been plenty of speculation that the Angels could potentially trade him in the upcoming offseason. Ohtani’s presence provides the Angels with a significant amount of money, as he has a market in his native Japan, which could prompt the Angels to keep him. But the industry sees him no doubt signing elsewhere as a free agent, which could also be a strong incentive to trade him before a new owner steps in, similar to what the Washington Nationals did with Juan Soto.
Meanwhile, Trout is under contract until 2030 and has a no-trade clause.
“Owning the Angels for 20 seasons has been a tremendous honor and privilege,” Moreno said in the statement. “As an organization, we’ve worked hard to provide our fans with an affordable and family-friendly on-court experience while fielding a competitive lineup that includes some of the greatest players in gaming history.”
Recently, Moreno and the Angels have dealt with a variety of off-field issues, most notably the sudden death of young pitcher Taylor Skaggs in July 2019. The Angels’ longtime communications director, Eric Kay, was later convicted of a Skaggs overdose.
Following the firing of longtime club attendant Brian Harkins, Major League Baseball (MLB) struggles to stop its pitchers from using illegal foreign substances rosin and rosin in baseball A mixture of pine tar and distributed to players on both teams. Harkins has filed defamation lawsuits against Angels and MLB, while saying that distribution of such substances has long been accepted.
Moreno also can’t buy the ground stadium around Angel, which he’s longed for. The latest deal was rejected by the Anaheim City Council in May amid an FBI investigation into allegations that then-Mayor Harry Siddow (who later stepped down) provided classified information to the Angels during negotiations.
The Angels will remain at their stadium, the fourth oldest in the majors, until 2029, with an option to stay until 2038. They play in Anaheim in Orange County, California, but Moreno controversially added “Los Angeles” to the team’s name in 2005 to help the Angels become a bigger brand. The decision may have played a role in the Angels striking a major TV deal in 2011 that was worth about $150 million a year through 2032.
The March team was estimated at $2.2 billion by Forbes.
The 20th year of his tenure of ownership prompted Moreno to take a macro look at the franchise, which led to his decision to sell the team in many cases, the city of Anaheim said. “We’ve seen three Angels owners since the team moved here in 1966,” Mike Lyster wrote in a statement. “While team sales don’t happen every day, They are a fact of life in sports. This is a potential decision by Arte Moreno based on his investments and family considerations. If we see new ownership, we look forward to continuing the great baseball tradition in Anaheim.”