Report: O'Malley group favored

The O'Malley group is the leading candidate to buy the San Diego Padres, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Saturday.

Members of the group, who toured Petco Park with Padres majority owner John Moores on Friday, continued negotiations on Saturday with the goal of having an agreement in place by the All-Star break, the newspaper reported.

"We have been asked not to comment at this time and have agreed to respect the confidentiality of the process," Kevin O'Malley told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Moores' proposed sale of the team to Jeff Moorad collapsed in March after baseball owners refused to approve Moorad as controlling owner. Moorad headed a group that in March 2009 agreed to a gradual takeover of the Padres. At the time, the deal was estimated to be worth around $500 million.

The Padres could be worth a few hundred million more this time, thanks to the Dodgers selling for a record $2 billion and the Padres' new TV deal with Fox.

Moores owns 51 percent while Moorad's group owns 49 percent.

The Padres won the NL West in 2005-06 before losing a wild-card tiebreaker game at Colorado in 2007.

Since then, they've been mostly dismal, losing 99 games in 2008, 87 games in '09 and 91 games last year. The Padres were surprise contenders in 2010 before collapsing down the stretch.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.