In late August of last year, Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno announced he planned to explore a sale of the franchise, but that pursuit ended on Jan. 23 when he stated he wasn’t ready to leave Major League Baseball.
Moreno has owned the Angels since 2003, and in a statement, he reaffirmed his passion for the club and that he would be around for future seasons. His flip-flop stance from him put everyone in a state of flux but after numerous offseasons that hitched the club with even more financial responsibility, his wallet was surefire constant.
Galatioto Sports Partners were pivotal in their efforts to find a potential buyer for the team, and Moreno even revealed he received substantial offers, via Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated:
“I had some big numbers,” he says. “Yeah, it was above the Mets’ number. Well, it was considerably above the Mets’ number. I think I have one offer on my phone I can show you I got that was not only what I was looking for, I got more.”
Moreno was so close to selling the team he even had a potential owner come to the stadium to attempt to finish the deal. However, it didn’t advance much once they were at the stadium:
“I had one buyer come to close the deal,” Moreno says. “I said, ‘You want to walk around the stadium?’ He said, ‘No, we just wanted to come in.’ And so, we talked and talked. He brought a group with him. They all just sat and talked.
“Then I said, ‘You know, you’ve got to walk around the field here. Let’s go to the field.’ We walked around the field. It’s just the two of us. And then he says to me, ‘I see in your eyes that you don’t look like you’re ready to sell.’ And then he goes, ‘If you don’t want to sell, I want to be your partner, and whatever you want to sell to me, I’ll buy.’
“When you got right down to it, I didn’t want to go.”
Some of Moreno’s downfall as an owner has been his inability to refrain from wanting the big free-agent fish, but his yearning to want a team with immense top-end talent displays the passion he has for the Angels franchise. And at the end of the day, that was also enough to keep him in charge of the team:
Moreno’s decision to put the team up for sale, he says, had more to do with a tumultuous time for the franchise than losing his love for baseball.
“It was more circumstantial than it was a change of heart, yes,” he says. “It wasn’t a change of heart. I’ll never fall out of love with baseball. That is true until the day I die. I’ll never fall out of love with baseball.”
For all of Moreno’s ups and downs, superstar centerfielder Mike Trout has sung his praises and confirmed that he appreciates the longtime Angels owner and for the foreseeable future he will be their controlling voice.
Mike Trout’s praise of Angels owner Arte Moreno
Moreno’s inability to spend on meaningful assets aside from high-price free agents led the Angels to make the playoffs just once in the past decade despite having two of the best players of all time, with their last appearance coming during the 2014 season when they were quickly eliminated in the American League Division Series.
But when news first came out of the process, it surprised Mike Trout, who has spent his entire career playing for the Angels and Moreno, and he is glad to have the owner back.
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