Arte Moreno explains why he didn’t sell Angels, shares plan for Shohei Ohtani

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Angels owner Arte Moreno attends a spring-training game between the Angels and Dodgers at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 3. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

arte moreno just couldn’t do it. The owner of the Angels, who put the team up for sale in August, told Sports Illustrated he was not ready to give up his team despite receiving three offers valued at more than a record $2.42 billion, Steve Cohen 2020 I bought the New York Mets.

“I had some big numbers,” Moreno said In an interview with Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, “Yeah, it was above the Mets’ numbers. Well, it was well above the Mets’ numbers.

“I had a buyer come [Angel Stadium] to close the deal,” he said, then described the exchange with the buyer. “When got right down to it, I didn’t want to leave.”

Moreno hasn’t spoken to local media in three years. His with Verducci represented his first detailed comments about the Angels in at least two years.

He told SI there were five actual trade offers for the Angels last year Shohei Ohtani and announced that they would not trade him this year as they battled for a playoff spot. When asked if he would consider trading him if the Angels were not in playoff contention, Moreno replied:

“We expect to be a playoff contender. Everything in our plan to put this team together is about getting to the playoffs. So, I’m not going to sit here and wonder what that outcome will be like if we Not planning. It would be like a fighter going into the ring thinking, ‘What if I lose?’ If he does that, he will lose.”

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Opening up about his decision to sell, Moreno stated that his previous decision to put the team up for sale was not because he had fallen out of with baseball.

“It was more circumstantial than a change of heart. It was not a change of heart,” he said.

Moreno announced his decision to explore the sale of the team in August 2022. The team was 52–71 at the time and was mathematically out of the playoffs after 27 days.

four months ago, the Anaheim City Council scraps deal to sell Angel Stadium and its surrounding property to Moreno’s management company, which planned to develop the property and either renovate or replace the stadium. this one Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu exposed in FBI affidavit He was under investigation for public corruption, with investigators alleging that he provided confidential city information to Moreno’s management company, with the hope that Angels officials would receive at least $500,000 in donations supporting his -election campaign. 1 million will be paid.

The FBI never accused Moreno and Angeles of any wrongdoing and it was far from the only big company Sidhu and city representatives were accused of affair. Sidhu resigned And the council is still grappling with the crisis.

Corruption investigation started A Deep Look at the Lost Decade of AngelsTogether The fans are booing Moreno During the onfield celebrations the club posted its seventh consecutive losing season. The Angels spent too much on a handful of stars who didn’t always stay healthy, failed to develop a farm system that ranked among the worst in baseball, had no plans to upgrade one of the stadiums in baseball, Cycled through four managers in five years and four general managers in 12 years and is a defendant in two high-profile lawsuits — one after a pitcher claimed a wrongful death. Tyler Skaggs’ overdose and another defamation claim filed by the former Clubhouse Manager Bubba Harkins,

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Moreno declined to say why he put the team up for sale, but SI quoted sources close to Moreno as saying he was shaken by the increasingly negative discourse surrounding the franchise.

“I learned a long time ago, know, some things are better off,” Moreno told SI, explaining why he briefly put the team on the market.

Moreno said that he was not cheap when it came to building the roster. He shared his thoughts on luxury tax rules, explained why he voted against raising the luxury tax, and noted that he doesn’t hate super spenders like the Mets or Dodgers.

“I like the fact that people want to win,” he said. “But I want everyone to have a chance. Like someone coming to my house [for a card game] And everyone is putting down a thousand dollars and one guy is putting down a hundred, I mean, how many hands can he play? This ain’t no fun.

He said that although he hasn’t always spent money on players who have dropped out, he has invested in trying to win.

“We’ve been in the top 10 payrolls for the last eight to 10 years. I can’t tell that we’ve always spent the right money. But we spent the money,” he said. “So, if someone criticizes me that I am not committed to winning, I am committed to winning.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,