As the bulk of free agency has passed and a billion dollars has been committed to the top group of shortstops, the impending sale of the Los Angeles Angels remains a lofty topic prior to the regular season.
L.A. Times Owner Patrick Soon-Shiong is among those exploring a purchase of the Angels, and now Joe Lacob, owner of the Golden State Warriors, tossed his name into the list of potential buyers of the franchise.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred discussed the Angels sale in early November, without providing a timeline, and said he expects a resolution by the beginning of the regular season.
The Angels could sell for a record price, some speculating it could approach the $3 billion mark, and with Arte Moreno still maintaining a semi-hands-on role by approving the increase in salary additions this offseason, the process is definitely becoming more interesting.
In a recent appearance on The TK Show from The Athletic, Lacob touched on the Angels and his interest in the franchise:
“It’s been reported that we’re looking at it, and that’s true. I don’t know what we’re going to do yet. I grew up there, it’s a little bit of an attraction for me.”
Angel Stadium is one of the older parks around MLB, built in 1966, and could definitely be improved or a new facility could be constructed. One of the main attractions of the Angels is their prominent locale, being on the west coast and having a strong base with their fans:
“I’ve always felt that it had great possibilities. L.A.’s a huge market, and it’s part of that L.A. overall market. And they’ve drawn over three million fans, I think, 17 of the last 20 years.”
Lacob’s interest in the team should be viewed as an incredibly positive thing because of the Warriors’ recent championship run and their standard for success. But owning two teams that aren’t local to each other may present a challenge:
“We’re going to look at it, but it wouldn’t be the easiest thing in the world to do because it is not co-located like perhaps a local baseball team might be. But maybe doable. So we’ll see.”
As the Angels and general manager Perry Minasian gear up for a critical season, whoever steps up to purchase the team will be acquiring a roster with Mike Trout and will be tasked with retaining Shohei Ohtani.
Angels manager Phil Nevin doesn’t think team sale is a ‘distraction’
Although the sale of the team could ultimately hinder their ability to make deals and eventually compete, Angels manager Phil Nevin doesn’t see it as an issue.
“I don’t think it’s a distraction at all,” Nevin said of the team’s potential sale. “I mean, I read the same things you guys do. I’m not part of that. But, no, I don’t think it’s a distraction at all.
“If anything, what we’ve been able to do this offseason and add I think it’s just a credit to what our ownership is right now. And he’s not just going to pack up and leave us stranded on an island. I think he still has a lot of love and care for our organization and the processes we’re going through right now and we all respect each other in that way.”
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