I wrote something a couple days ago about how Justin Verlander would be a perfect Arte Moreno free agent signing for the LA Angels. Verlander is coming off Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss this season.
Verlander is 38 years old and has a history of major success. He has a well-known name in baseball circles. His signing would generate headlines in a town that only reacts to headlines. Verlander is a celebrity and so is his supermodel wife, Kate Upton.
That’s what Moreno does. He overspends on marquee players while neglecting the nuts and bolts that make the organization sustain itself.
The LA Angels owner overspends, hoping to compete for your baseball dollar while battling with the financial bottomless pit that is his closest neighbor, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Arte Moreno’s stubborn reluctance to go over the luxury tax threshold has hamstrung every general manager the LA Angels have employed under his watch.
The LA Angels have had five general managers with Arte Moreno at the helm, and he has meddled with each one.
Who knows how they would’ve done their jobs with the LA Angels had they been able to budget and act on their own, with less of Arte Moreno’s involvement?
Under General Manager Bill Stoneman, the squad had the longest sustained era of success in its history, winning the 2002 World Series and being the AL West’s best team until Stoneman retired in 2007.
Much of the success was because of Tony Reagins, as the Director of Player Development, and Eddie Bane, the Director of Scouting.
Once Stoneman retired, Moreno unilaterally took over and promptly ran the team into rough waters.
He effectively dismantled the scouting department. Moreno cut the budget to save dollars to spend on stars.
Moreno stripped his minor league clubs’ budgets. Minor league players in the Angels system barely survive. They pack six players into three-bedroom apartments. Players live in vans and cars.
The Angels don’t have a front office position of President of Baseball Operations; someone that could have the experience needed to allow Moreno to trust the process. Instead, Moreno operates by fiat like a Roman emperor.
Believe me, I like a team owner that has a fire to win. One that hires the best possible for team management and player development. Moreno has proven in the past that he isn’t that guy.
One thing he’s great at is making money. His real estate development deal with the city of Anaheim will exponentially increase the value of the Angels for years to come. Whether that translates to the team’s budget remains to be seen.
All we can do is hope he spends it on player development instead of veteran players’ retirement plans.