Looks like the end of the saga that started with the collapse of the Jeff Moorad ownership group is nearly here according the Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The sale of the Padres has been pared down to two final parties and both have submitted their final bids to outgoing owner John Moores. Both the Peter O'Malley group and a group led by Gary Jabara, CEO of Mobilite, have submitted bids of approximately $600 million for the Padres themselves and another $200 for the Padres equity stake in the new Fox Sports San Diego. Between the two O'Malley (left) seems to be the frontrunner, though reportedly Moores thinks Jabara (right) would be a good owner.
More after the jump...
All of this is potentially a mixed bag of news for Padres fans, particularly if Moores makes his decision quickly and closes the deal before the All-Star break. The new owner could potentially have a say in the moves (or non-moves) the Padres make at the upcoming July 31 trade deadline. However the $800 million dollar price for the Padres in total would represent a significant (80%) premium over the team's actual value. Which could come back to bite either new owner on the backside when it comes time to having discretionary spending for the all important big free agents (something the Padres have lacked in recent years anyway).
Either way, and whichever group ends up winning, it appears the Padres ownership saga may be over sooner than many had even hoped it would be and that the two groups are both "good people". And in the O'Malley's case they're also experienced at running and winning with a Major League Baseball team. Which after this dismal season would be a nice change.
*UPDATE 1* - Looks like the decision has already been made according to sources NBC San Diego consulted. The O'Malley's are the next owners of the San Diego Padres pending negotiation of the specific price/proof of having the funds to complete the $800 million combined team/TV purchase and pending MLB's approval. The former seems likely since the same ownership group was in for the Dodgers purchase at the starting price of $1.5 billion and only dropped out when it started climbing up to it's eventual astronomical $2.1 billion final sale price. The second approval seems even more likely given the O'Malley family's half century of MLB ownership and close ties to many who remain in the lodge today. However in the unlikely event that something does come up, Moores is now treating Jabara as a fallback plan.
*UPDATE 2* - More information has been released as of yesterday. CBS is reporting that local businessman Ron Fowler is the point man for what we've been calling the O'Malley group until now. But it looks like not only is Fowler really the point man, he's also one of the money men. Fowler of course was a partner in the failed Moorad Group and has obviously remained interested. The group has entered an exclusive negotiating period for finalizing the particulars of the sale with the goal of having it done before the All-Star break as mentioned earlier.