When LA Angels owner Arte Moreno was caught opposing the luxury tax threshold to increase to $220 million, the harsh reality of who he is as an owner was exposed. Moreno was reportedly one of four owners to oppose this, and none of the other owners (Ken Kendrick of Arizona, Christopher Ilitch of Detroit, and Bob Castellini of Cincinnati) have spent as much as Moreno has.
It shows that Moreno has no excuse to have the same philosophy as the rest of these four owners. How four owners are opposed, and Moreno's name is included among three owners who make Moreno look like a mega spender is absurd. His opposition to the luxury tax increase also confirms that he doesn't want to spend the adequate amount to compete while having Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in their primes.
If Moreno truly wants to take advantage of having the two best players in the world in their primes, and specifically even having Ohtani for cheap, he'll need to risk getting up to the luxury tax threshold in spending. He has not done that, and now he doesn't want that threshold number to increase. It shows that he doesn't want other big market teams to spend more like they can. He knows he's not interested in spending more to try to catch up.
Arte Moreno proved once again that he is largely responsible for wasting Mike Trout and now Shohei Ohtanis' primes.
Unfortunately, Arte Moreno's decision also teases what his upcoming plans are for when the lockout ends, and it's not good for the 2022 edition of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtanis' primes. He clearly isn't willing to get up to the luxury tax if he hasn't done it yet and now is opposing to the threshold being increased.
He's already wasted Trout and Ohtanis' primes up to this point, and now he just proved that he doesn't want to spend much more than he already does. The Halos are currently at just over $161 million for 2022, and the fact that he doesn't want the luxury tax threshold increased shows that he is not interested in going significantly over what he already has spent.
If the luxury tax threshold was increased, he'd fall back in the payroll rankings and feel even more pressure to spend. Moreno doesn't want that pressure. He wants to get by through being able to say that he at least splurged on Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Anthony Rendon. He wants to get away with his antics by signing these low long-term risk contracts on boom-or-bust starters like Jose Quintana and Matt Harvey.
He doesn't want to get uncomfortable, because winning is clearly not as important to him as it is to the fans. The only way the Angels can get back to winning is through spending, as it's not like he's put together a strong farm system. Despite being in the LA market, however, Moreno feels like the franchise doesn't need to step it up a level in the spending department.