Rob Manfred: Angels would like sale completed by opening day

In August, Angels owner Arte Moreno put his team up for sale. The bidding process has not yet started and this process is not expected to start until January at the earliest.

Will Moreno still be the owner at the start of the 2023 season?

“It is my understanding that the club would like to have the sale completed before opening day,” commissioner Rob Manfred said on Tuesday. “Whether that happens, I think, depends in part on the bidding process and how quickly you can complete documents.”

Major League Baseball processes prospective bidders because a background check is required to obtain authorization to view the financial information required for a party to determine what its opening bid might be. Manfred said “several parties” approved the move.

Meanwhile, Moreno has approved spending on what may be the first $200 million payroll in team history. The Angels have committed about $72 million to pitchers Tyler Anderson and Carlos Estévez, infielder Gio Urshela and outfielder Hunter Renfroe this winter, with the shortstop position still earmarked for an upgrade.

On further topics from Manfred’s press conference at the winter meetings:

— Baseball makes headlines in December. On Monday, Trea Turner received $300 million from the Philadelphia Phillies, with multiple reports that the San Diego Padres had offered him $342 million. Aaron Judge could sign for millions more any day. And the vaults are also open to smaller players, as evidenced by the Angels’ signings.

Trea Turner of the Dodgers hits a hot single in the seventh inning in Game 4 against the Padres.

Trea Turner left the Dodgers for a $300 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

(Ashley Landis/Associated Press)

Getting that attention is good, Manfred said, but not all good.

“On the plus side, I think a week in December where there’s a lot of focus on the players and where they’re going to be is a good thing in terms of marketing the game,” he said.

“On the other hand … we have a level of revenue disparity in this sport that makes it impossible for some of our markets to compete with some of the numbers that we’ve seen. That’s not positive. It’s like everywhere in life: there is good and bad.”

– The greatest challenge facing the league – and for any American sports league – is the collapse of cable and satellite television. These mega contracts have been funded by deals in which a regional sports network (RSN) pays a team handsomely for the right to broadcast its games, giving the team money to squander on players.

But cable and satellite providers offer “bundles,” where viewers pay for many channels they never watch. If streaming makes TV an a la carte experience, leagues and teams could face a drop in broadcast revenue. The operator of Bally Sports West – the Angels’ RSN – all but parted ways with its parent company this week amid industry fears the Bally station group could file for bankruptcy unless a solution is found soon.

“The RSN model as it exists today is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term,” Manfred said, “due to the large number of people who are opting out of the cable bundle.”

With fans still wanting to watch matches, Manfred said he sees “opportunities” in “developing a new model that is more sustainable and, most importantly from our point of view, gives us a better reach in terms of the possibility that Fans can get games whether they’re in the bundle or outside of the bundle.”

— Manfred press conferences over the past few years regularly include an indication that Oakland is running out of time to finalize a deal for a new ballpark for the athletics, and this one was no different.

“We have exceeded any reasonable timeframe to resolve the situation in Oakland,” he said Tuesday.

The A’s and the city have yet to agree on a plan, in part because the A’s have asked the city to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure costs, and in part because the A’s are yet to agree with the city on the amount of affordable cost some need apartments to be included in what the team is touting as a $12 billion neighborhood revival.

The A’s have agreed to privately fund the project, including $1 billion for a waterfront ballpark. They have explored options for a move to Las Vegas but have not reached an agreement there or in Oakland, and Manfred declined to say whether A’s owner John Fisher could reach an agreement in Oakland by putting more of his team’s money into the deal plugged.

“An owner willing to invest a billion dollars to build a stadium is [making] an unbelievable level of commitment on the part of the owners,” said Manfred.

– On Tuesday morning, a truck drove past the hotel where the meetings were being held with an electronic billboard urging the league to apologize for moving the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta and the $100 million region to avoid economic impact. This oft-repeated character is entirely mythical.

Manfred moved the game after Georgia passed legislation that pro-suffrage advocates said made it harder for people — and minorities in particular — to vote. Opponents have since cited robust Georgia vote numbers by saying Manfred made a mistake.

“I think we really focused on the idea,” Manfred said, “that we need to make decisions that are all as inclusive and welcoming as possible, keep ourselves as non-political as possible, and empower ourselves to do anything.” do what we strive for in one of our 30 markets.” Rob Manfred: Angels would like sale completed by opening day

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