Jeff Moorad, the CEO and general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks resigned Friday in order to pursue the purchase of the San Diego Padres. In Moorad’s place, Diamondback’s president Derrick Hall was promoted to CEO, said managing general partner Ken Kendrick to the Associated Press.
(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with Jeff Moorad)
According to The AP, Moorad will continue to retain an ownership stake in the D-Backs, until such time as MLB rules require him to sell the stake, should he and his ownership group acquire the majority ownership stake in the Padres.
"I can confirm that Jeff has resigned and is interested in the Padres," San Diego owner John Moores wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
John Moores, mired in divorce proceedings and coming off a 99-loss season, officially announced in mid-December that he had hired Goldman Sachs in an effort to sell the team to potential buyers. Moores, who has owned the club since 1994, has seen four postseason appearances (won the NL West in '96, went to the World Series in '98, and won the NL West back-to-back in '05 and '06). He also was able to get a new ballpark in PETCO Park built in 2004 amidst lawsuits and voter referendums.
The key reason for Moores' desire to sell centers on the divorce from his wife, Becky, with whom Moores has been married to for 44 years. The two own 90 percent of the Padres, but based upon community property laws in the state of California, Becky will be sharing 50 percent of the assets with John. Moores’ daughter, Jennifer, owns 5%, with the remaining 5% owned by San Diego-based businessman Glenn Doshay.
As for Moorad, he was the founder of Moorad Sports Management. He began specializing in athlete representation in 1983, with his main focus on Major League Baseball. Moorad’s reputation as a knowledgeable and respected negotiator has earned him a spot on The Sporting News’ 100 Most Powerful People in Sports on eight occasions, as he helped revolutionize player representation.
Moorad’s client base took off in 1984 when he was retained by Will Clark and four other members of the U.S. Olympic baseball team, each of whom were Top 10 draft choices. He then joined forces with Leigh Steinberg in 1985 to form one of the most dynamic twosomes in the history of sports representation, covering both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. The successful duo negotiated over $3 billion in athlete contracts throughout their 18 years together, including representing Pro Football Hall of Famers Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon and Thurman Thomas.
Moorad was the negotiator on a number of landmark contracts for a baseball client base that included Manny Ramirez, Eric Karros, Ivan Rodriguez, Mo Vaughn, Shawn Green and Raul Mondesi, just to scratch the surface of All-Star talent he represented. He also represented former D-backs’ player Matt Williams, who joined Clark in spring training with the D-backs as on-field advisors. Moorad represented more than 40 first-round selections from baseball’s annual First Year Player Draft in his practice, highlighted by breakthrough deals for No. 1 overall selections Pat Burrell (1998) and Darin Erstad (1995), both draft records at the time.
Moorad was approved by the Commissioner’s Office as an owner and General Partner in the D-backs’ ownership group in August of 2004 and named CEO in 2007.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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