The Dodgers have been sold to a group led by Magic Johnson. According to the Wall Street Journal, the price is $2 billion, by far the most for a North American sports franchise. I talked to an MLB insider to gauge what impact, if any, the Dodgers' deal could have on a potential sale of the Padres. What follows is a listing of his opinions.
* The price of the Padres will rise and should far exceed the sum agreed to by John Moores and Jeff Moorad three years ago.
* Barring a snag related to Moorad's sales agreement with Moores, expect Moores to sell the Padres to a person or persons outside of the club's minority shareholders.
* Assume that Bud Selig and Jerry Reinsdorf already know who the buyer of the Padres will be.
* Think it logical that Moores will tweak the Padres' deal with Fox Sports San Diego, if he hadn't already after Moorad withdrew his application for control ownership and stepped down as CEO. To get top dollar, Moores would reduce the upfront money Moorad negotiated and raise the deal's overall "sticker" price.
This blog, for its part, would be fascinated to see Moores sell the Padres to a group that included Dennis Gilbert, for Gilbert, a former player agent, is a longtime employee of Reinsdorf, the White Sox chairman who fiercely opposed Moorad becoming control owner. Gilbert was part of a recent failed bid for the Dodgers. He came up short for the Rangers last year. By now, Selig and his financial officers should know if Gilbert and his partners would meet with MLB approval.
It would intrigue this blog as well if Moores, a longtime fan of basketball, converted Magic Johnson's no-look pass between the legs into his preferred slam-dunk: ownership of an NBA team. Moores tried to buy his hometown's NBA club, the Houston Rockets, before buying the Padres, and probed the sale of the Atlanta Hawks last year.