Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno has had a change of heart and announced Monday he is no longer interested in selling the American League club.
Moreno was interested in selling the club in August after 20 seasons as owner, with the club going as far as to announce the intention to sell. A financial advisor, Galatioto Sports Partners, was even hired to oversee the process.
Moreno paid $183.5 million for the Angels in 2003, with recent estimates showing the club worth as much as $2.2 billion.
Now, Moreno is starting to value a championship over a major payday.
“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,” Moreno said in a statement. “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.”
The Angels are in line to have a payroll of more than $190 million next season, which would be the highest in club history.
While star outfielder Mike Trout is signed to a 12-year deal through 2030, pitching and hitting star Shohei Otani will be paid $30 million in 2023 before becoming a free agent in the offseason.
“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,” Moreno said.
The Angels have advanced to the postseason just once in the past 13 seasons and have not won a playoff game in that span. The last time Los Angeles had a winning season was in 2015, when the club went 85-77.
Commissioner Rob Manfred even weighed in on Moreno’s change of heart.
“Despite strong buyer interest in the Angels, Arte Moreno’s love of the game is most important to him,” Manfred said in a statement. “I am very pleased that the Moreno Family has decided to continue owning the team.”
Moreno originally expressed his intention to sell not long after the city of Anaheim pulled the plug on plans to redevelop the Angel Stadium property, which sits on 150 acres. Most of the land is the parking lot that surrounds the stadium.
Circumstances surrounding the redevelopment of the property, including reported FBI monitoring of communications and a subsequent corruption probe, led to the resignation of Anaheim mayor Harry Sidhu. The Angels were not implicated in any untoward activity with the redevelopment plans.