Thursday, a new era quietly, yet officially, began for the San Diego Padres franchise. Sandy Alderson officially stepped down from his post as Padres' CEO, and Jeff Moorad is now in charge of the day-to-day operations for the NL West squad. Moorad heads up a group who now owns 40 percent of the Padres, and his title is CEO and vice chairman of the board.
Despite the transition, Padres fans shouldn't be getting up their hopes for the short term. There are no plans to increase the payroll, and John Moores -- the one who wanted payroll trimmed in the first place -- is still in charge.
Moorad's group will fully take over the Padres within five years. In the meantime, front office personnel will be evaluated and one would surmise they'll begin building the team for the future, considering the state of the current roster and the short-term goals stressed by Moorad.
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"My goals are twofold," he said. "First, maintaining an affordable product ... affordability for our fans is a key thing moving forward. Businesses that emphasize affordability are helping themselves. I care less about incremental dollars than having fans in the seats.
"And I want to build a consistently winning organization that can compete for a World Series."
Obviously, the biggest short-term roster question is the status of Jake Peavy, who has been tied to trade talks this past season as frequently as A-Rod tabloid "news" surfaces.
"It would be premature for me to say what is going to happen. The goal is to build this for the long term. I don't know how that impacts the Peavy situation. But we're going to do whatever we can to improve the team.
"We'll look at the minor league system. There have been some drafting challenges. I'm looking forward to drafting near the top ... in that aspect, we'll go in the right direction."
Obviously, he can't overtly say he wants to deal Peavy, but the above political answer sounds like it's still a venture that is going to be pursued this summer. Take that as mere conjecture on my part, however.
Either way, the Padres' fans should feel comfortable with the foundation for their future. Moorad had a hand in building the current Diamondbacks roster -- despite a few questionable, at best, signings. There needs to be patience in southern California, though, because this team isn't going anywhere at the big-league level anytime soon. They'll look to improve through the draft and farm system, building from the ground up.