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Another losing bidder on the Dodgers looks south to San Diego

May 14, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Hedge fund manager Cohen, founder and chairman of SAC Capital Advisors, responds to a question during an interview at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas

San Diego is a nice alternative to L.A. You get the same — actually better — Southern California weather. It’s a bit cheaper. Way less traffic and hassle. My kids wanted to go to California on vacation this summer and after looking at L.A. stuff for a while I turned my attention south and found it to be way more appealing.

Maybe the tradeoff for owning a baseball team in those parts is not quite as equal, but for those who lost out on the Dodgers, San Diego is becoming a popular destination for their ambitions:

If you can’t buy ‘em, beat ‘em. That could be the motto for Steven Cohen, the hedge-fund billionaire and runner-up in the bidding for the Dodgers.

The San Diego Padres are up for sale, and Cohen is thought to be one of at least five potential buyers cleared by Major League Baseball to review the team’s confidential financial data.

Former Dodgers owner — who wanted to own them again — Peter O’Malley is already reported to be looking at the Padres.

It’s certainly not the plum that the Dodgers are in terms of revenue, both now and in the future. But at “only” $600 million, you can own the Padres for less than a third of what Magic and friends paid for the boys in blue.

UPDATE: Will Carroll reminds me that Steve Garvey was on his podcast a couple weeks ago and noted that he too is interested in the Padres.

  1. xpensivewinos - May 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    At this point, anything will be better than the garbage who owns/sorta owns/runs/sorta runs the team now. The team not only needs to be blown up, but so does the business and baseball operations. It’s $600 million, plus the cost of an entire organizational exorcism.

    Can’t happen soon enough.

    • gloccamorra - May 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      I assume you’re talking about Moorad. He’s completely out, and the old owner, John Moores is back in charge. There’s nothing wrong with the business/baseball front office, and the team doesn’t need to be “blown up”, it needs a new middle infield and to get its four-fifths of its starters, its closer and its only-power-threat left fielder off the DL.

      The $600 million is cash, there’s also $215 million in debt to be assumed. The last rumor was that John Moores was looking at a total price of $815 million, and that includes Moorad’s minority group share and ownership of the triple-A team, as well as the Fox TV contract and 30% of Petco (the reason for most of the debt).

      Cohen’s Dodger bid included about $900 million in cash, so he doesn’t need investors/partners to get a quick cash sale. The O’Malley sale to Fox was for a pitifully small amount in retrospect ($311 million), so Peter O’Malley needs investors. Garvey’s group might be similar to Moorad’s, raising the question whether it can afford to run the ballclub after purchase.

  2. b7p19 - May 14, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I sure hope it’s goes smoother than the last sale…

  3. Jeremiah Graves - May 14, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    As long as the new owners bring back the brown and mustard, I’m all for it.

    • AlohaMrHand - May 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      best quote ever by Steve Garvey when describing the difference between the Dodger uniform and his new Padre uniform.

      “Instead of looking like the American Flag I look like a taco”

      • foreverchipper10 - May 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM

        How I never heard that quote baffles me but it is now instantly one of my favorites.

  4. cambodianbreastmilk - May 14, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    No, No, NO! I want Mark Cuban!

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