Random Thoughts: Arte Moreno is considering selling the Los Angeles Angels, what that could mean for Shoehi Ohtani and the Blue Jays, and more!
Photo credit:© Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
5 months ago
To put it simply, it means that the Angels will likely be shedding payroll. Also if you’re a Miami Marlins fan, sorry. You guys deserve better.
A baseball team is a business, which means when you sell that franchise, you want to make as much money as possible. Those contracts (Trout’s, Rendon’s, and Ohtani’s) for a team that isn’t contending decrease the value of the organization when it comes to a sale.
A recent example of this is when the Washington Nationals, who the owner Mark Lerner is looking to sell, wished to include Patrick Corbin’s deal in the Juan Soto trade. While this would have diminished the return significantly, it would have made the payroll cheaper, thus making it easier for Lerner to sell.
This isn’t the best (or my favourite) example though. For that, we need to look at a team that needs to move immediately.
Miami Marlins, a history of fire sales, and two weird World Series rings:
It’s not unprecedented for an owner looking to sell the team The best example of this is the many times the owner of the Miami Marlins traded their best players. I got a lot of this information from sabr.org, who did a wonderful article (for non-Marlins fans) on the history of the team here.
The first fire sale came in 1997 after the team had literally just won the World Series, I mean like weeks later. Wayne Huizenga, the owner at the time, apparently lied about making a loss and decided to trade the team’s best players.
Players such as Kevin Brown, Ed Vosberg, Devon White, Dennis Cook, Kurt Abbott, Robb Nenn, Moises Alou, and Jeff Conine were all traded a few months later.
You’d think a fire sale like that would move them out of contention for years, right? Nope. Six years later, in only their second playoff appearance, they won it all again. Then they blew it up two seasons later, eventually trading Miguel Cabrara in late 2007. This time, it was due to not getting a new ballpark and threatening to move. They just decided to cut payroll.
I can’t do it enough justice here, so check out this Collapse video by Secret Base, because it’s wonderful.
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No more World Series wins, but hey, another fire sale. In 2012, they actually spent money and had the sixth highest payroll at $118.1 million, but it’s the Marlins, and they sucked. So they traded everyone (including the Mark Buerhle trade) and came into the 2013 season with a payroll of $35.9 million. I bring this up because while it’s a little bit different in circumstances, it kind of reminds you of the Angels, eh?
Would you look at that, it’s Fire Sale O’Clock time! This time, the owner sold to a group that included the most overrated player of all time, Derek Jeter!
Just like at shortstop, Derek Jeter was completely lost as the team’s Chief Executive Officer, trading away the homegrown MVP, Giancarlo Staton (who once went by Mike Stanton, fun fact). They also traded eventual MVP winner and Pete Davidson look-a-like, Christian Yelich, along with “I’m [Marcell] Ozuna from the Braves”, Dee (Strange) Gordon, and noted terrible teammate, J.T Realmuto.
Just like the Die Hard franchise, the first movie (or fire sale) in this case is enough. It was cool that they had a fire sire, then managed to win a World Series. However, after the first one, it got old. In due time, they’ll hit fire sale five, which will see them trade Sandy Alcanata for a minor league player named Seth Woodpine or something.
Just move them to Montreal or something.
But what about the Jays:
Enough of a tangent, let’s talk about Arte Howe (yes, that’s a Moneyball reference) is selling the Angels, and how it could impact the Jays.
The player that the Jays (and every other team) should be looking to acquire in the off-season is Shohei Ohtani. It really doesn’t need explaining either. With the bat, he’s slashing .264/.357/.515 with 27 homers in 502 plate appearances for a wRC+ of 141. When you factor in his year of control as well, the bat is worth it alone.
However, you know who Ohtani is, and you know he’s nearly an ace at this point. The 27-year-old has a 2.83 ERA and 2.68 ERA in 121 innings pitched. He has 33.9 K% and 6.5 BB% and an fWAR of 3.7.
So yeah, a team essentially gets a left handed slugger, which the Jays need, and solidifies their starting rotation, which the Jays may need if Stripling walks (give him a qualifying offer!)
The other player I’d be interested in is Mike Trout, arguably the best player to ever play sticks and balls. However, he has a no-trade clause, as well as 10-5 rights, meaning he’d have to accept a trade to the Jays. Granted, I’d do nearly anything to avoid playing for the Angels for the rest of my career.
Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds. It was noted around the trade deadline that the most likely time that Ohtani would be moved would be in the off-season, so perhaps the Jays could make a move to acquire him.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. In the off-season, I’ll be writing about why the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics or the Miami Marlins should move to a Canadian city.
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