"It's crazy. I paid [$183 million] for the team [in 2003], and now we're talking $142 million for one player?" Moreno told the Los Angeles Times. "Seven years on a player is a huge risk financially. [Crawford's] greatest asset is speed, and he's a very skilled athlete who would have fit perfectly in left field for us. But we didn't look at him as a power hitter in our stadium."
Moreno said that signing one player for more than $20 million a year would raise the payroll to a point where it would limit other options and force him to increase the Angels' fan-friendly ticket prices.
"You look at the economic risk and the franchise risk," he said. "The reality is, can I write a check for the player? Yes. But is it smart business in the long term? I don't think so."
Moreno said he and general manager Tony Reagins met with Crawford and his agents on the first night of the Winter Meetings, and were told Crawford "already had a deal," but not with whom. Two days later, he signed with Boston. Moreno said the Angels never discussed the parameters of any offer with Crawford.
Moreno said the Angels have made "a significant offer" to third baseman Adrian Beltre, who is reportedly seeking somewhere around $15 million per season.
-- David Andriesen