Angels owner Arte Moreno discussed a few topics of interest today, as Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register covered. Moreno spoke positively of his interactions with the city of Anaheim regarding the club’s ballpark, seemingly representing an improvement in relations. He also gave a vote of confidence to the Billy Eppler-led front office. Most interestingly, though, Moreno explained the organization’s approach to spending on player contracts. It’s not about staying beneath the luxury tax line, he said; rather, the organization budgets to “allocate about 50 percent of [its] revenue towards payroll.” Moreno also added that he “bust[s] through that every year,” so it seems there’s some flexibility. Generally, though, the position helps explain some of the team’s spending patterns — including its approach this winter. Moreno says there’s still cash available for mid-season additions. Meanwhile, it’s still tough to gauge whether there’s a realistic possibility of a new deal with the incomparable Mike Trout. As MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger writes, Trout declined to comment on the possibility of a new deal at all, while Moreno would do little more than reiterate that there is interest on the team’s behalf.
More from the American League:
- The Rangers are considering the possibility of pursuing extensions with several young players, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. At this point, though, it’s not clear that the team has engaged any agents. Neither is it evident which players might be approached. Sullivan tabs Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, and Jose Leclerc as the likeliest candidates. That would indeed seem to be a plausible trio. All have reasonable cases for significant money. Mazara is already into his arbitration years. Gallo and Leclerc have one more campaign to go, but each promises to accumulate the kinds of counting stats (home runs and saves, respectively) that pay well in arbitration.
- There’s little doubt that the Indians would love to find a way to extend star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who has reportedly spurned record-setting offers in the past. He says he’s still happy for the time being to go year to year, as Zack Meisel of The Athletic tweets. Lindor says he “love[s] everything about Cleveland,” but right now is “focused on arbitration” (so far as contractual matters go). That’s working out just fine, as he took down a big $10.55MM first-year arb payday. Ultimately, Lindor says, he may consider a long-term deal, though he certainly did not sound as if that’s something he’s particularly keen to pursue. Per Lindor: “If the Indians come up with the right numbers and at some point it happens — which, I’m not even thinking about — we’ll see.”
- True, reports on conditioning entering camp are a tired trope. But given all the heartache over the years surrounding the physical form of Twins slugger Miguel Sano, it seems relevant that he’s said to be in the best shape of his life — or, at least, the best shape of his MLB career. As Dan Hayes of The Athletic writes (subscription link), Sano embarked upon a robust workout program this winter and seems to be in top form. Whether that extends to his productivity on the field remains to be seen, but it’s a positive start.