Watch CBS News

Arte Moreno ends exploratory process to sell Angels franchise; plans to continue ownership

After months of exploring a possible sale of the Los Angeles Angels franchise, owner Arte Moreno has announced that he instead plans on continuing ownership into the foreseeable future. 

In a statement released on Monday, the team said that the Moreno family officially ended their exploratory process to sell after announcing that they would search for potential buyers back in August 2022. 

"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," the statement from Moreno said. "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."

Moreno purchased the franchise for nearly $183 million in 2003, the season after the Angels won their lone World Series Championship. According to a report from Forbes, the franchise is now worth an estimated $2.2 billion. 

In the statement, Moreno says that "a number of highly qualified individuals and groups" expressed strong interest in purchasing the club, but "as discussions advanced and began to crystallize, we realize our hearts remain with the Angels, and we are not ready to part ways with the fans, players, and our employees."

As owner, Moreno has seen the Angels capture six American League West Division titles, and with that six playoff appearances — though the team never managed past the Championship Series to secure a World Series berth.

His ownership has been mired in disappointment, especially with his proclivity for spending large sums of money on player contracts that have hardly come to fruition. His tenure started well with a five-year contract worth $70 million for future-Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, but was followed up by a number of less fruitful deals including those given to Josh Hamilton (5-year, $125 million), Zack Cozart (3-year, $38 million) and Justin Upton (5-year, $105 million). 

The team also acquired aging-star Vernon Wells in the midst of a very backloaded seven-year, $138 million deal in 2011 and signed future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $254 million deal in 2012. While the beginning of his time with the Angels was productive, Pujols was subjected to an array of injuries and aging, which saw his numbers take a significant drop following the 2017 season.

Additionally, the Angels signed Anthony Rendon to a seven-year, $245 million contract in 2019 after he came off of an All-Star season and a World Series Championship with the Washington Nationals, but since then has only played in 157 games with the Halos in three seasons. 

The front office has been busy this offseason, putting together what looks to be a more explosive offense, adding Brandon Drury via free agency and Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela by trade. They also look to get some help on the mound by inking 15-game winner Tyler Anderson to a three-year deal

Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Angels
TEMPE, ARIZONA - MARCH 18: Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno poses for a picture with a young fan prior to the MLB spring training baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 18, 2021 in Tempe, Arizona. / Getty Images

Currently, the Angels lease at Angel Stadium in Anaheim runs through 2029 with multiple options for three-year extensions lasting until 2038. 

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement following the announcement, which said the following: 

"Despite strong buyer interest in the Angels, Arte Moreno's love of the game is most important to him. I am very pleased that the Moreno Family has decided to continue owning the team."

His initial decision to sale came in the wake of a failed transaction that would have seen Moreno's management group acquire Angel Stadium and the 150 surrounding acres, which was struck down by Anaheim City Council in May. The proposed deal, agreed upon in 2019, alleged that the management group would develop the land surrounding the stadium into what they referred to as a vibrant "baseball village," full of housing, office spaces, restaurants and bars, shops, hotels and a fitness center amongst other things.

The tremendous fallout from the voided deal has since seen a federal investigation launched into the circumstances surrounding the agreement in 2019 and caused the resignation of Anaheim mayor Harry Sidhu.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.