The Padres say Jeff Moorad will withdraw his application to complete ownership transfer, but will remain as CEO of the San Diego Padres. Moorad headed an owners group that had agreed to purchase the team from John Moores in 2009. The purchase plan would have taken place over five years, with the final payment due in 2014. At the 2012 MLB owners meeting in January, Moorad and Moores presented the owners with evidence that the final payment was already in escrow, an indication that that they both desired the sale to be finalized early.
The Padres released the following statement this morning:
The San Diego Padres today announced that Vice Chairman and CEO Jeff Moorad has withdrawn his application to Major League Baseball for a control transfer, in order to expedite MLB approval of the club’s television broadcasting agreement.
“With Opening Day less than one month away, John Moores and I believe our top priority is to ensure that Padres fans will be able to watch broadcasts of what we believe is an exciting baseball team,” said Moorad. “I remain fully committed to the San Diego Padres and our fans, and am looking forward to the 2012 season.”
Commissioner Bud Selig refused to permit the vote to be taken, saying that Moorad had failed to include financial information necessary to MLB owners. At the time, Selig stated, "There's no hidden agenda here. There's nothing else. There were a lot of economic concerns. The most important thing that we do is bringing in new owners, so we have really become very, very fastidious about the economics of who can make it. And I'm not suggesting there were any negatives. There were just questions that we didn't have time to answer here."
At the time, Moorad called them "technical issues."
Other investors in the ownership group include former Dallas Cowboys QB Troy Aikman, local businessman Wayne Seltzer, home builder John Baldwin, developer Jay Stein, cell phone mogul John McAvoy, local home builder Al Baldwin, money manager Rick Barry, Panda Restaurant CEO Tom Davin, and Save Mart Supermarkets CEO Bob Piccinini.
Moorad had been a sports player's agent with Leigh Steinberg until 1999, when the agency was sold for a reported $150 million. Moorad was an independent player's agent under Moorad Sports Management until 2005, when he became a minority owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Moorad left the Diamondbacks ownership group when presented with the opportunity to own the Padres.
The Padres added: The club will have no further comment until MLB completes its approval process.
(This has been edited for clarity and correctness at 9:30 AM)
Pictured: Jeff Moorad