Some owners are meddlesome. Some are absentee. Arte is neither: He is an active, involved owner who has taken the time to hire excellent advisors, and who knows when to get out of their way and let them work.
In the trade for Kazmir, he willingly took on a young player who is owed $8M next year, $12M in 2011, and $13.5M in 2012 if the option is picked up ($2.5M if it is declined). PLUS, the player receives $800K just because he was traded during the contract. That is a possible maximum commitment of $34.3M over the next three years--more than what the team is paying Fuentes, almost what Frankie received from the Mets. He may turn out to be a bargain, but right now he represents a gamble with a lot of upside. Wonder how Kazmir made it through waivers to reach the Angels--that contract scared away other teams.
But not Arte. He listened to his advisors' analysis of Kazmir's most recent outings, was convinced that Butcher and Scioscia could restore Kazmir to his former glory, and took on the financial obligation with an eye towards winning.
Perhaps even more significantly, he and Reagins never lost determination, never panicked, never took their eyes off the ball. They identified a player they deemed could improve the club, weighed the risk and cost, and kept pushing forward. These are very disciplined people who maintain their focus and don't flail about desperately. Even as the fans and baseball pundits were talking about how the Angels' front office was failing to act, they were hard at work and executing their plan.
This is a very good front office. When one looks at how dysfunctional some teams are administratively, it is wonderful to see the cohesion of the Angels' front office. It is filled with competent people, but the attitude and marching orders come from one man.