Matt Moore, Lucas Giolito ‘Surprised’ Angels Opted To Place Them On Waivers
MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Apr 25, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Matt Moore (55) throws the the plate in the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The news of the Los Angeles Angels opting to pivot completely away from competing this season made headlines around Major League Baseball after they placed a handful of key players on waivers.

Lucas Giolito, Matt Moore, Reynaldo López, Hunter Renfroe, Dominic Leone and Randal Grichuk were waived by the Angels just hours before first pitch on Monday. All of whom will have an opportunity to be picked up by any team, should they be claimed in accordance with the current waiver order.

A loss on Monday put the Angels at 63-70, and the move is pure salary dump. The hope is to get under the luxury tax threshold, avoiding any implications for next season.

Because of the prospect capital shipped off to acquire several of these players, the move caught members of the Angels off guard, per Rhett Bollinger of

“I thought it was satire or something,” Moore said. “I was surprised. It feels kind of like the Trade Deadline. You know there’s chatter, but our job is to be professional and give everything we have.”

Moore has pitched very well in his first season with the Angels and should quickly find a home as an impact left-handed reliever. The optics of what the club is doing isn’t viewed well, but from an organizational standpoint, they’re justified to do so with how the collective bargaining tax is setup:

“I’d say I was surprised, but at the end of the day, it’s a business,” Giolito said. “And it can be a really strange business sometimes. So you have to roll with it.”

Punting the season shortly after making a push to bring in talent proves just how fast things can change, but from a personal performance standpoint, they’re not playing up to any of their potential:

“It’s unfortunate the way we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Grichuk said. “Personally, I have not played well. As a team, we haven’t played well, and it’s one of those things where management has to make a decision.”

General manager Perry Minasian had to make the tough decision to ship each of them off, because they’re all on expiring deals, it’d make no sense in keeping them around to incur CBT penalties.

It’s unclear if Arte Moreno will maintain ownership of Angels

Another year of missing the postseason would mark the 13th time since 2009 they’d log an early exit, putting the success of Angels owner Arte Moreno’s tenure as an odd one. His run of failures put him on the verge of selling the franchise last season, but he notably mentioned he wasn’t ready to walk away.

Moreno instead provided the front office with a deeper financial commitment to make one last, failed, effort to win in 2023. An even thinner farm system coupled with an uncertain future with Shohei Ohtani, cast serious doubt that the future of the organization will be successful if ownership stays as is.

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