Peter O’Malley’s group has an exclusive window in which to purchase the Padres

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It was suspected that the O’Malley family — former Dodgers owners — were the front runners to buy the Padres. That suspicion has been confirmed, as Scott Miller reports that the O’Malley group — which is actually fronted by San Diego businessman Ron Fowler — has entered into an exclusive negotiation period with current owner John Moores.

Miller further reports that Fowler — who was to be a minority owner under the doomed Jeff Moorad bid — will play a much larger role in the new ownership group than previously believed. Indeed, he will be “the point man.”  Also in the group: golfer Phil Mickelson.

The sale price is expected to be in the neighborhood of $800 million. Since both Fowler and O’Malley are both past owners or quasi-owners, their approval, assuming a deal is reached, should go off without a hitch.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.