Jeff Moorad is proving that any stories swirling around his inability to pay for the Padres were simply rumors. The stories popped up about two weeks ago and suggested Moorad may not be able to fufil his commitment to complete the installment payments for the team by 2014. Instead, Dan Hayes of North County Times is reporting Moorad’s final payment to John Moores is now in escrow.
Once the final payment clears and MLB owners vote to allow Moorad to become to official new owner, the John Moores era will be complete. Padres fans should not expect to see much of a change. After all, the Padres went to the play-offs four times and made one World Series appearance with Moores at the top of the chain of command. The one difference we may see, is a more consistent spending pattern. At least that’s the hope.
Moorad has already told the public he hopes to increase payroll to an average of $70 million per season. He’s already shown with the upcoming Fox Sports television deal that he is willing to reinvest revenue. This year’s payroll already figures to be at least $10 million more than last season.
If Moorad’s promise is fulfilled and the Padres get to a point where they can spend around $70 million on payroll consistently, they will have far less of an excuse for not competing consistently. In 2011, the Padres payroll was slightly more than $45 million. This season, the payroll figures to be around $55 million. If the team gets to a point at which they can operate with a budget $15 million higher than this season, they can go after more free agents, sign better long-term contracts, and compete more often.
Jeff Moorad’s official purchase of the Padres appears to be a great thing for San Diego. Of course, anything can seem good on paper. Time will only tell whether Moorad’s payroll promises are fulfilled.