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OC Register: Angels owner Arte Moreno addresses team’s payroll, stadium and GM Billy Eppler


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TEMPE, Ariz. — The Angels have a formula for determining their payroll and it has nothing to do with the luxury tax, contrary to the popular narrative.

Owner Arte Moreno said Monday that the Angels base their budget on their revenue.

“Typically for us, we allocate about 50 percent of our revenue towards payroll, but I bust through that every year,” Moreno said. “A small-market team would go about the same. Sometimes the larger market teams would only use 40 percent. Every year is a little different with your needs.”

The Angels currently have a payroll that’s roughly at $183 million, in terms of actual cash flow for 2019. That includes several incentives that are likely to be reached.

It represents a slight increase from their payroll in 2018. General manager Billy Eppler said last month the Angels “stretched” the payroll to add Cody Allen.

The luxury tax, however, is calculated using the average annual values of the contracts. Because the Angels have a few players whose actual salaries are much higher than their AAV’s, their payroll for purposes of the luxury tax is about $170 million, well below the $206 million threshold.

Moreno said the Angels also want to save some money for additions during the season, “if we have an injury” or “if we are really in it at the All-Star break and are looking to see whether you’re going to trade.”

Moreno also said he’s been pleased with the work of general manager Billy Eppler, whose contract runs through 2019, with an option for 2020.

“Billy has done a good job,” Moreno said. “His people have done a great job.”

Moreno also addressed the situation with the city of Anaheim and Angel Stadium. The Angels’ lease runs only through 2020, and the team would like the city to make some upgrades to the ballpark before they commit beyond that.

Moreno said the talks with new Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu have been “very positive, a lot of good communication.” In past years, Moreno had not spoken as optimistically about the team’s relationship with the city.

UPTON OUT, HARVEY IN

Outfielder Justin Upton begins spring training limited by tendinitis in his right knee, Manager Brad Ausmus said.

“There’s  no reason to rush him right now,” Ausmus said. “Don’t be shocked if he’s not playing right away.”

Pitcher Matt Harvey, who suffered a strained glute during the first workout last week, has resumed throwing a few days ahead of schedule. Although Harvey isn’t ready to get back on the mound, he’s been “fully cleared,” Ausmus said.

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