Moreno has paid a luxury tax only once since he bought the Angels in 2003, incurring a penalty of less than $1 million after the club signed Garret Anderson to a four-year, $48-million contract extension in 2004.
He has been reluctant to pass the threshold ever since, so much so that the threshold has served as a de facto salary cap for the Angels.
But Moreno may not have a choice in 2016. The Angels are currently about $22 million under the luxury tax threshold and in dire need of an impact bat, preferably one that can play left field.
With the top free agents —
"It feels fluid," new General Manager Billy Eppler said Thursday, when asked his understanding of Moreno's position on the luxury tax threshold. "Things will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
"There are scenarios where you can see it being reasonable, and there are scenarios where you can see it not being worth it. Undetermined is probably the best way to put it."
Eppler said he is satisfied with the team's rotation and bullpen depth and would "like to build more depth on the position-playing side, if possible." He has had free-agent and trade discussions on and about a broad range of outfielders, including those in the top tier.