Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno, right, talks with Angels manager Joe Maddon prior to a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians on April 26, 2022, in Anaheim. Moreno has decided not to sell his team. He took his franchise off the market Jan. 23 after announcing his plan to explore a sale of the team last August. The 76-year-old owner met with prospective buyers during the winter. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Rafu Staff and Wire Service Reports

The Angels have announced that the Moreno family is ending the exploratory process to sell the team, via a statement issued Monday. The release said current ownership will continue “throughout the 2023 season and beyond.”

“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,” said Angels owner Arte Moreno. “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.”

“Despite strong buyer interest in the Angels, Arte Moreno’s love of the game is most important to him. I am very pleased that the Moreno family has decided to continue owning the team,” said Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred.

Moreno offered thanks to Galatioto Sports Partners, who assisted in the initial search for prospective buyers of the club. “However, as discussions advanced and began to crystallize, we realized our hearts remain with the Angels, and we are not ready to part ways with the fans, players, and our employees.”

The Angels’ fortunes under Moreno have flagged mightily since an appearance in the ALCS in 2009. Despite a hefty payroll and big-market fan support, the Halos have not won a playoff game in the past 13 years, making just one postseason appearance in 2014 and getting swept.

The Angels are currently mired in the majors’ longest streaks of losing seasons (seven) and non-playoff seasons (eight, tied with Detroit) despite the presence of former AL MVPs Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on their roster.

The Angels avoided arbitration with Ohtani before the end of last season by agreeing to a one-year deal for 2023 worth a reported $30 million.

The star pitcher-slugger remains on track to become a free agent after the coming season, and has been the subject of repeated trade rumors.

“I really like the team. I love the fans. I love the atmosphere of the team,” he told The L.A. Times last September. “But, more than that, I want to win. That’s the biggest thing for me. I’ll leave it at that.”

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