ANAHEIM, Calif. ( Associated Press) – Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno has decided not to sell the team.
Moreno took the franchise off the market on Monday after announcing plans in August to explore selling the team. The 76-year-old owner met with potential buyers this winter.
“During this process it became clear that we have unfinished business and I believe we can make a positive impact on the future of the team and the fan experience,” Moreno said in a statement. “This offseason we have committed to a franchise-record payroll and we still want to achieve our goal of bringing the World Series championship back to the fans.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he was “very pleased” with Moreno to stay.
“Despite the great interest in buying the Angels, the most important thing is Arte Moreno’s love for the game,” explained Manfred.
Moreno is an outdoor advertising mogul from Arizona who originally purchased the Angels from The Walt Disney Company in 2003, shortly after the franchise won its only championship.
Moreno was immediately willing to spend to bring big free agents to Orange County, and the Angels won five AL West titles in his first seven seasons. But Moreno angered some fans by dropping the Anaheim name in an effort to improve the team’s television visibility.
The Angels’ fortunes have declined under Moreno since their appearance in the 2009 ALCS. Despite their expensive payroll and fan support, they have won only one postseason game in their last 13 years and had their only postseason appearance in 2014.
The Angels currently have the longest streak of losing seasons (seven) and no post seasons (eight, tied with Detroit), despite the presence of former AL MVPs Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
Moreno confirmed that he “met with a number of highly qualified individuals and groups who expressed a keen interest in the club.”
Moreno said, “However, as negotiations progressed, we realized that our hearts are with the Angels and we are not ready to be separated from the fans, players and staff.”