- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Washington Nationals may not be the only MLB team potentially up for sale.

Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno announced Tuesday afternoon that he is considering selling the team he’s owned since 2003. 

“It has been a great honor and privilege to own the Angels for 20 seasons. As an Organization, we have worked to provide our fans an affordable and family-friendly ballpark experience while fielding competitive lineups which included some of the game’s all-time greatest players,” Moreno said in a statement. 

“Although this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thoughtful consideration, my family and I have ultimately come to the conclusion that now is the time. Throughout this process, we will continue to run the franchise in the best interest of our fans, employees, players, and business partners.” 

Moreno, the only non-White controlling owner in Major League Baseball as a Mexican-American, purchased the team from Disney for $184 million in 2003 — one year after the franchise won its only World Series. Forbes estimated earlier this year that the team is now worth $2.2 billion. 

The Angels join the Nationals as MLB franchises pursuing a potential sale. Nationals managing principal owner Mark Lerner, who took over day-to-day operations from his father, Ted, in 2018, announced in April that the Lerner family would be exploring a sale of the franchise it has owned since 2006. 

The family purchased the Nationals for $450 million after MLB relocated the club from Montreal to the District. Forbes now ranks the Nationals as the 12th-most valuable MLB franchise with an estimated value of $2 billion. 

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the Lerner family is expecting bids from prospective buyers by the end of the regular season. At least five potential buyers have combed through the franchise’s financials and met with team personnel, according to the Washington Post.  

The future of the Baltimore Orioles has also been in the rumor mill this summer. Team CEO John Angelos — son of Peter Angelos, who spearheaded the investment group who purchased the team in 1993 — has said publicly that he wants his family to keep control of the team. But his brother, Louis Angelos, has sued John Angelos and their mother, alleging that John wants to move the team to Tennessee. The Orioles are valued at $1.4 billion, per Forbes. 

After Moreno’s announcement, many baseball fans wondered how this would impact the future of superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani and their futures in Los Angeles. Trout signed a 12-year, $426.5 million contract with the Angels in 2019, while Ohtani has one year of arbitration remaining before hitting free agency after the 2023 campaign. 

The Angels have largely struggled under Moreno, with only six playoff appearances since 2003, one since 2010 and none since 2015. 

Six MLB teams have changed hands since 2012. The most recent sale was in fall 2020 when hedge fund manager Steve Cohen purchased the New York Mets for a record $2.4 billion. 

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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