In a press release, the Angels ownership group announced that it is considering selling the team, and will begin exploring the possibility of a sale with Galatioto Sports Partners (who have been retained as financial advisors during the process).
“It was a great honor and privilege to own the Angels for 20 seasons“Owner Arte Moreno in the statement.”As an organisation, we have worked to provide our fans with a family-friendly and affordable experience while offering competitive squads featuring some of the game’s greatest players of all time.. “
“Although this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thought, my family and I eventually came to the conclusion that now was the time. During this process, we will continue to operate the franchise for the benefit of our fans, employees, players and business partners. “
While any number of factors may have influenced the Moreno family’s thought process, Anaheim City Council was less than three months ago. ruled against A long-term deal would have seen Moreno’s management group buy Angel Stadium and the entire 150-acre property around the stadium. The Moreno Group was planning to develop the area into a multi-purpose residential and commercial space, similar to other “field village” developments that had become popular both on newer baseball stadiums and elsewhere in other sports.
However, the initial agreement between Moreno and the city fell apart, in large part due to an ongoing federal investigation into alleged corruption, violations of state laws, and inside information. Former Anaheim Mayor Harry Seydoux has resigned, and the city council has voted to scrap the Angel Stadium deal entirely in the wake of the scandal.
Although the stadium controversy has led to new questions about the future of the franchise in Anaheim, it now looks like Moreno himself will be staying away from the Angels entirely. Moreno originally purchased the team in April 2003 for $184 million, taking over operations from The Walt Disney Company in the wake of the 2002 Angels World Championship season.
That 2002 title remains the franchise’s only tournament title, despite Moreno’s efforts to remake the Angels into a big-spending perennial contender. Under Moreno’s direction, Halos has regularly been at least a top-10-paying squad, even if Moreno’s willingness to spend hasn’t led to a willingness to cross the luxury tax threshold. (2004 was the only season that angels ever paid a luxury tax.)
The Angels reached the post-season five times between 2004-09, despite winning only two playoff series and never progressing beyond the ALCS. Regular trips soon ceased to October, with the AL West title in 2014 (and a three-game sweep by the ALDS Royal Family) marking the Angels’ latest post-season appearance. After winning 85 games in 2015, Los Angeles has gone through six straight losing seasons, with the struggling 2022 team on track to make it seven straight years without a .500 baseball game.
As Moreno’s statement noted, “Some of the game’s greatest players everDressed as angels for the last 20 seasons, including the likes Mike TroutAnd the Albert PujolsAnd the Vladimir GuerreroAnd the Shuhei Ohtani. Despite these and other talents, the angels simply couldn’t break through due to a host of other ill-advised acquisitions. While Moreno was willing to spend, this aggressiveness manifested itself in several major investments that simply didn’t work out – ie Josh HamiltonAnd the Justin UptonAnd the Vernon WellsAnd the Gary Matthews Jr.And the Zach CozartUntil now) Anthony Rendon.
Perhaps the defining deal for Moreno’s estate, Pujols’ free agent deal, worth $240 million for ten years, is sadly emblematic of the Angels’ recent struggles. While Pujols was still an elite player heading into the 2012 season, awarding such a big contract to a first-time baseman to enter his 32-year-old season was seen as a risk, and those concerns ended. The Pujols had several good seasons at Anaheim, but injuries and a natural aging curve made him a lot less productive than he had been during his early years with the Cardinals.
The responsibility for these engagements ultimately rested with Moreno himself, who was widely known to be more involved in baseball operations than the average owner. The Angels had five different general managers during Moreno’s tenure, and this revolving door reflected Moreno’s lack of patience. Additionally, the Angels didn’t have much of a secondary pipeline to build around these expensive acquisitions, as the Angels routinely traded prospects and missed out on many draft picks.
Trout is the main exception, of course, but the Angels couldn’t take advantage of having a local prospect evolve into a Legendary player. Signing Ohtani was another big moment for the organization, and while injuries largely prevented Trout and Ohtani from seeing much time together in the same squad, it’s still hard to believe that a team with players from two generations couldn’t. It even broke the .500 mark, let alone say in October. Ohtani is a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future with the Angels will definitely be a major story over the next year as well as the ownership change that now adds another exciting wrinkle.
Major League Baseball now has two well-known franchises for sale, with the Lerner family also widely expected to sell the Nationals. Any of the bidders for Nats would likely also consider buying Angels, and it’s safe to assume that any of the franchises would sell for at least $2.5 billion. The proximity of the Angels within the greater Los Angeles area may mean a higher price, although it also remains to be seen if the organization will necessarily stay in Anaheim.
According to the team’s owners stadium lease, the Angels are committed to their stadium until 2029, with the club’s option to extend that lease until the 2038 season. While Halos won’t go anywhere in the short term, at least, the new owner may have designs in place to move the team into Elsewhere. Conversely, the new owner may represent a new beginning for the future of the Angels in Anaheim, perhaps a new beginning of talks about redevelopment of the stadium, and perhaps even another name change. It’s probably safe to say that the old “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” shot will remain a thing of the past, but the club could also return to the “Anaheim Angels” moniker rather than being tied to Los Angeles.
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