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.