Friday, April 6, 2012
John Moores has yet to decide whether to sell his 51 percent stake in the San Diego Padres, according to an interview posted on mlb.com, the online site of Major League Baseball.
The interview was conducted during Thursday's season opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Moores also said that an ownership group once led by former player agent Jeff Moorad no longer has exclusive rights to purchase the Padres, and that Moorad himself - while retaining an executive title with the franchise - no longer has an office at Petco Park and his tenure with the team is over.
He also said that Major League Baseball has approved a 20-year, $1.2 billion television contract with Fox Sports that includes a $200 million signing bonus.
Approval of the TV deal will be officially announced next week, U-T San Diego reported separately.
Moorad's group agreed to buy the Padres in 2009 but a bid for him to take majority control was rebuffed by owners of the other franchises earlier this year. He needed support of 22 of the other 29 owners to become the major stakeholder in the team.
He subsequently withdrew his bid and stepped down as the Padres CEO.
In the interview, Moores said he has been in touch with the other minority owners, only some of whom plan to retain their portion of the Padres.
While the Padres are still considered a small-market team, their value has been enhanced by the television deal and the recent $2.1 billion sale price of their rivals to the north, the Dodgers.
Moores, who bought the Padres 17 years ago for about $70 million, said he was shocked by the Dodgers deal.
"We have to re-evaluate everything based on the new TV contract and the Dodgers sale," Moores told mlb.com. "It's just incredible."
"I have absolutely no idea how long it's going to take to make that decision," Moores said. "It's safe to say that it's open-ended now, that I'm going to own the team for the foreseeable future. But that's not to say that my reign isn't going to end tomorrow. We've already talked to some bankers. I'll take some time to figure this all out."
The original agreement with Moorad's group gave them until 2014 to complete the purchase.