Moreno talks 2014, Trout, the CBT & Anaheim

On the offseason search for pitching …

We didn’t feel like there was a guy out there that we wanted to give up a first-rounder. And the early numbers that they were talking about were big numbers; they just were big numbers. We decided to work on role players and save some bullets.

On being opposed to going over the luxury-tax threshold of $189 million …

It’s not that. The reality is we have an operating budget. And the operating budget is below the threshold. What we try not to do is try to go negative. … Long-term it just doesn’t work to be in the red financially. And so, our operating budget for payroll is below the threshold. … Let’s just say we come out of the box good. It’s a long season. We come out of the box, and we get to the break and there’s somebody available, then what you have to do is try to do the best you can to get somebody in here.

On Matt Garza …

Look, we had a $52 million offer on the table for Garza. And they wouldn’t respond to it. And this was early. … When he’s good, he can be a 2. He can help you. And it would’ve really given us that layer of depth.

On signing Mike Trout to a long-term deal …

The reality is it always gets down to the number. I think he likes it here; we like him here. The reality is we have four more years worth of control. We have another year under the guaranteed under the players’ minimum, and then you have three arbitration years. … We’re communicating. It’s not something that we’re not communicating about. … I can’t say [that it’s close]. I just don’t think it’s fair to the process. I would just say we’re communicating.

On negotiations with the City of Anaheim …

The easiest way for me to say it right now is we’re at a stalemate. … I’ve committed to put $150 million worth of capital into the stadium in exchange for an inexpensive lease on the land. Their city manager a few years ago brought that to us. The mayor said that not only do they not have the capital to put into the stadium, they wouldn’t put any money into it. And the city manager, we had worked through a process that said, ‘If you put capital into the stadium, we’ll give you a long-term lease on the land at a dollar a year.’ Somewhere along the line, there has to be a partnership. And what’s happened is everybody thinks I’m going to make this fortune off the land. The first thing I have to do is capitalize the team, and then I have to capitalize the stadium, and then I have to go develop something, and who knows how long that takes before it becomes profitable.”

On the stadium …

People don’t realize it’s 48 years old. They started building that thing 50 years ago. When Disney remodeled, they didn’t do anything to the infrastructure. All the plumbing’s original, all the electrical is original, the concrete is original. You have escalators, elevators. The city and ourselves did a joint engineering project about three years ago to estimate what it was going to cost to keep this stadium serviceable until 2029 was our first extension. Now, we’ve done it. We’ve moved that out. But we’re not there yet.

On the team this year …

I really believe we can compete with this team. There’s some teams – they need everything to click at one time or whatever. Everybody can figure out who they believe is the best and who has the best odds, whatever. We like our team, and we have flexibility to make adjustments if we need to; I’m talking economic adjustments. It’s just a business, and you want to make sure you can compete and take care of your fans. Everybody loves playing the game, watching the game, and at the end of the day, it’s the fans. If the fans still like to come to the park and have fun – it’s a big part of it.

Alden

1 Comment

Is there anybody in baseball dumber than Arte Moreno and Jerry Dipoto? I seriously doubt it. They could have locked Trout up after his historic rookie season when he came to them wanting a well deserved raise. They chose not to address that situation at that time, with Dipoto saying that there are 24 other guys on the roster and he had to manage the salaries of everyone of them. Then to Tori Hunter he didn’t have money for him, no money to bring in Anibal Sanchez last off season. Then they around after all that and flush $125 million down the toilet on Josh Hamilton. I came on here last year and said bring in Sanchez, keep Hunter and give Trout a raise and some guy called me crazy. But each year that goes by without Trout getting his money causes his price to inflate, soon to the point that a extension will be out of the question, this guy is going to get a contract from someone that will make Kershaws deal look like chicken feed. They could have locked him up for pennies on that dollar but those to let the process play itself out,even though the current trend is for teams to lock up their young stars. An exception clearly should have been made for Trout and it will very likely cost the Angels the best player in the game.

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