Rafu Staff and Wire Service Reports
Los Angeles Angels owner and 76-year-old businessman Arte Moreno
said Tuesday he is considering selling the MLB team he has owned for two decades.
The Angels made the announcement in a statement confirming the organization started a process that includes a possible sale of the team. No timeline for a sale was revealed in the statement.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to own the Angels for 20 seasons,” said Moreno, who bought the team for about $180 million from The Walt Disney Company in 2003,
a year after it won its first World Series championship. The club was then known as the Anaheim Angels, a name that Moreno changed in a move that drew ire in the Orange County city.
“As an organization, we have worked to provide our fans an affordable and family-friendly ballpark experience while fielding competitive lineups which included some of
the game’s all-time greatest players,” Moreno said.
Under Moreno, the Angels never won a World Series championship, and the team continues to struggle despite employing two of the game’s best players, American League MVPs Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. The Angels have not made the playoffs since 2014.
Right now, the Angels, who fired manager Joe Maddon in June and replaced him with Phil Nevin in the interim, are fourth in the AL West and on pace to miss the playoffs for the eighth straight season.
Ohtani is slated to be an unrestricted free agent in 2024. The 28-year-old’s name has figured prominently in recent trade rumors, but Moreno was reportedly unwilling to move forward with an Ohtani trade.
“The potential sale of the franchise during that time makes Ohtani’s future seem even murkier,” ESPN said.
Ohtani, the two-way sensation who left Japan and joined the Angels in 2018, has made it clear he wants to play for a contending team. If the franchise can’t sign Ohtani to a long-term deal, it may decide to trade him before he has a chance to leave as a free agent.
Longtime Angels fans were on board with Moreno early in his tenure as the team won five division championships. But the current state of the moribund franchise has hurt
attendance and turned off many supporters, who at times have been vocal about wanting Moreno out as owner.
No less than Hall of Famer Rod Carew, an 18-time All-Star infielder, expressed pleasure about a possible sale. He starred with the then-California Angels from 1979-1985. He
later worked as the team’s hitting coach and is credited with helping develop such Angels stars as Garret Anderson, Jim Edmonds and Tim Salmon.
“Well this is happy news,” Carew posted on Twitter. “I have renewed hope that my relationship with the @Angels organization can be fully restored.”
“I’m still trying to process it,” Trout said before the Angels played at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. “Looking back, I’ve been here my whole career. Had some great times
with Arte. He took care of me, my family. I appreciate all he has done for me. I guess he’s moving on.”
Moreno, a 76-year-old Mexican American born in Arizona, is the only non-white controlling owner in Major League Baseball. The Angels are the second MLB team currently for sale, joining the Washington Nationals.
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After homering a day earlier, Keston Hiura went 0-for-3 with a walk Tuesday, as the Milwaukee Brewers were steamrolled by the host Dodgers in L.A., 10-1.
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Lars Nootbaar had a pair of doubles in Game 1 of a doubleheader in Chicago on Tuesday, but the St. Louis Cardinals were blanked by the host Cubs, 2-0.
Seiya Suzuki drove in a run and stole a base for Chicago in the victory.
Nootbaar went hitless in Game 2, but St. Louis rebounded for a 13-3 win. Suzuki had a hit and scored for the Cubs.
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In New York, Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka went 0-for-2, but his squad won their second straight crosstown matchup against the visiting Mets, 4-2.