Power on the Padres

Jeff Moorad purchasing the Padres is a weird looking deal. For one thing it came together so fast. The Tribune Company couldn’t even change the toner on the printer that spits out the Cubs’ offer sheets in the time it took this whole deal to materialize.

A second odd thing is that despite this being characterized as a sale in every article I’ve read, John Moores is still going to be running this team for some time:

John Moores will remain as majority owner of the Padres for three or four years, even if the ongoing negotiations with a Jeff Moorad-led group yields an agreement, according to major league sources.

Moorad eventually would assume the largest financial stake in the club, but not for a matter of years, the sources said. However, at some point this year, Moorad would assume a powerful decision-making role within the front office, with the added clout of being the majority owner in waiting and a minority owner in the near term . . .

. . . Beyond the financial details, one motivation fueling plans to set a lengthy transition is to ensure Moores remains active both on major league committees and as a member of the inner circle to Commissioner Bud Selig.

A reformist who has worked to level the playing field for low-and mid-revenue clubs, Moores would benefit the Padres by continuing to help MLB shape future terms relating to industry resource allocation, according to persons close to him . . . Selig, 74, plans to retire after the 2012 season, and some executives expect Moores primarily will represent the Padres with MLB through that time.

So Moores is still going to call the shots and still be Selig’s man in San Diego. I’m no expert, but from where I’m sitting, this is less a sale than it is a simple cash infusion for the Padres. I wonder if Moorad’s bid would have been approved if he actually wanted to run the team now. I kind of doubt it, and all of this strikes me as Moorad being allowed to enter a kind of ownership training program in exchange for bailing out the cash poor Moores. As everyone knows, the impetus for the sale is Moores’ divorce. In light of Moores selling but kinda not really selling, I wonder if the Mrs. Moores divorce attorneys won’t try to blow up or at least slow down this deal so that they might determine if any financial shenanigans are involved.

So if Moorad isn’t going to come in and sit in the owner’s suite on day one, what will he be doing? I’m not sure, but you can bet it will look a lot like what Sandy Alderson does right now:

Major league executives expect CEO Sandy Alderson to leave the Padres at some point this year if Jeff Moorad takes over the front office.

Moorad has said he well regards Alderson, but major league executives doubt Alderson will stay beyond 2009 if Moorad comes aboard because the two are used to doing similar jobs.

Alderson is a freakin’ genius, so that’s a real shame. People more familiar with the Padres can opine on the practical fallout of his departure better than I can. I will say, however, that blogger/assistant GM Paul DePodesta had best be careful. My old supervisor had no problem with my blog, but all that changed when a new guy came in. DePo is a cool guy. It would be a shame for him to get Dooced.

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  1. MooseinOhio said...

    The Moorad deal to ‘buy’ the Padres reads more like a lease with an option to buy kind or land contract (borrowing from real estate) type of deal.  The divorce will certainly shed light on the deal as any good divorce lawyer will not leave any stones still if they believe money can be found under them.  Hopefully such a light will expose some of Bud’s shannigans in the sale of MLB teams.

  2. Ted Spradlin said...

    I’m glad that this lease-option keeps John Moores involved in baseball and running the Padres.  He’s done a very good job with the Padres, despite last years stinker of a season.  Getting Petco built downtown was a big catalyst in revitalizing the energy all throughout downtown SD. 

    Moores has done a great job in building a mid-market team that has it’s 3 year run and then re-tools.  The Padres are a lot better now than they were when he bought the team.

  3. mikec said...

    As a team, the Pads sucked last year and figure to suck this year.  The ownership/payroll problem has worsened instead of improved. 

    Ol’ Ted here can give Moores credit for past teams and stadium, but that’s where that train stops.

    People spin stuff they want to spin stuff.  Just the way it is.

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