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The anticipated purchase of the San Diego Padres by Jeff Moorad is about to be completed. As in… soon.

Under the terms of the agreement, the club said the sale is expected to close by Opening Day, with Moorad to assume the role of CEO of the Padres, a job currently held by Sandy Alderson. San Diego Union-Tribune.

Inhale deep breath… and… SCREAM!

Why?

Simple. If the Padres sale is completed by Opening Day (before which, the Cubs are unlikely to be able to pull of a Peavy trade), the Padres’ incentive to deal Jake Peavy may evaporate. As we’ve chronicled before, the sale is allegedly spurred on by current owner John Moores’ pending divorce, division of assets, and associated need to cut costs. Soon-to-be owner Jeff Moorad may not have those same concerns, and may view dealing the team’s most popular player as short-sited.

So when it was reported yesterday that the deal is supposed to be done by Opening Day, I pretty much peed my pants – and the guy next to me’s pants – in terror.

But we can mostly breathe a sigh of relief, after the jump.

A clarification, further in the article:

Moorad and his group will initially purchase about one-third of the franchise, ultimately acquiring 100 percent ownership over a period of up to five years, subject to approval by Major League Baseball.

Whew. Ok. Well that sounds more in line with reports earlier in the offseason that Moorad would not have control of the team – in terms of personnel decisions – until mid-season at the earliest.

Moorad becoming CEO is a new piece to the equation, though. Does that mean he will have input on personnel decisions, even before his ownership interest eclipses the 50% mark? Hard to say.

The transaction is obviously a complex one, and discerning how the control aspects will evolve over the course of the five-year purchase will take a good deal more information than we now have.

Perhaps more pressing: how does the structure of the transaction affect Moores’ finances? And the finances of the Padres, generally? Maybe they won’t need to cut payroll any further after all. But then again, they’ve already decimated their team for 2009-2010 to such an extent that it makes little sense to hang onto Peavy in the hopes of being competitive any time soon.

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