Angels owner Arte Moreno spoke to reporters, including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, early Saturday, and he spoke about the team’s payroll in upcoming seasons and its future in its current stadium. Here’s some of what he had to say.
- Recent Angels offseasons have been a far cry from several years ago, when the team signed top free agents like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson (sometimes to limited success, as it turned out). This past winter, the Angels were again relatively quiet, though they did add Cameron Maybin, Luis Valbuena, Jesse Chavez, Danny Espinosa, Ben Revere and Martin Maldonado. The team will have greater financial flexibility in upcoming offseasons than it did this past winter, however, according to Moreno. The Angels can potentially clear plenty of payroll after 2017, including the last year of Josh Hamilton’s contract and potentially also the contracts of Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street (although the team has 2018 options on both players). The team could potentially again contend for top free-agent talent, Moreno says. “If our people feel it’s a player who fits, that’s what we’re going to do,” says the owner. “We’re going to try to win.”
- The team could also add payroll in trades later this season if the team performs well. Fletcher notes that the team is currently about $10MM to $12MM below the luxury tax threshold. The Angels, Moreno says, “have enough economic flexibility to be able to go out and, if we do have holes, try to fill those holes.”
- The Angels will remain in Angel Stadium until 2028 or beyond, according to Moreno. The team’s stadium deal contained the option to leave by 2019, but the Angels have no immediate plans to leave and would not be able to build a new stadium by then anyway. Instead, they will focus on upgrading their current ballpark. In addition to their option to leave their stadium by 2028, they also have an option to leave by 2038.