The Los Angeles Angels might have a new owner in the near future.
Current owner Arte Moreno said in a statement Tuesday that “now is the time” to explore a new leader for the franchise.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to own the Angels for 20 seasons,” Moreno said. “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.”
“Although this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thoughtful consideration, my family and I have ultimately come to the conclusion that now is the time. Throughout this process, we will continue to run the franchise in the best interest of our fans, employees, players, and business partners.”
Moreno took over as the Angels’ owner only a few months after the team won the 2002 World Series. He has shown a willingness to spend money, although not always wisely. His tenure will be remembered for the failed big-money deals that brought the likes of Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Vernon Wells, Zack Cozart, Gary Matthews Jr., C.J. Wilson and others to Anaheim. None of those lived up to the billing.
On the bright side, Moreno oversaw the drafting of Mike Trout, who turned out to be an absolute steal as the No. 25 pick in the 2009 MLB Draft and turned into one of the greatest players of all time. He also helped bring Shohei Ohtani to the States, and that’s been a boon for the Angels both on the field and off.
Ohtani is a free agent following next season, and an ownership change might bring about a trade sooner than later in a scenario similar to what happened with Juan Soto and Washington Nationals, who are undergoing a change at the top. The Ohtani trade rumors will likely dominate this offseason.
All of those bad, bloated contracts as well as a long run of poor pitching have kept the Angels out of the playoffs since 2014. The franchise last won a postseason game in 2009.