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It’s been a disastrous season for the Los Angeles Angels. And with just over a month to go before the end of the season, owner Arte Moreno is looking for ways to make it a little bit worse.
The Angels already got spectacularly bad news on pitcher Shohei Ohtani, who won’t pitch again this year thanks to an elbow injury.
Mike Trout also returned from a lengthy stint on the injured list only to go right back on just one day later. And key trade deadline acquisitions have failed spectacularly, with the Angels an American League worst 7-17 in August.
While initially it seemed like Moreno was making a big statement in potentially going over the luxury tax for the first time this season, with the team now 11.5 games out of a playoff spot, he’s dramatically changing course. In just about the most embarrassing way possible.
Moreno and the Angels placed a number of key players on waivers Tuesday, according to Jeff Passan. Starter Lucas Giolito, outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Randal Grichuk and relievers Matt Moore and Reynaldo Lopez are now available, first come, first served, for free.
Angels’ Decision A Fitting Nail In The Coffin
Any team that’s willing to pay the remaining salary of those players can have them, without having to give the Angels anything in return.
That’s how cheap Arte Moreno actually is.
While they’re free agents who will likely sign elsewhere at the end of the season, giving them away accomplishes nothing other than saving money. Roughly $7.13 million if all the players are claimed, considering there’s just about 1/6 of the season left.
There almost certainly will be claims placed on at least some of the available players. Lucas Giolito has been awful after coming over from the White Sox, but has a strong track record of above average performance.
Reynaldo Lopez has been a useful relief pitcher, and Hunter Renfroe has a history of mashing left handed pitching. For teams on the playoff bubble, it could be an intriguing opportunity to add help for the stretch run without giving up anything but money. With any player in the organization by September 1st eligible for the postseason, those additions could help in October as well.
And it’s all thanks to Arte Moreno and his efforts to save a bit of money.
Can’t imagine why Shohei Ohtani might be considering leaving at the end of the season.