Source: Sale of Padres is imminent

A deal for the San Diego Padres is imminent, and the franchise is the O’Malley group’s “to lose,” according to a source with knowledge of the sale process.

Padres owner John Moores met on Friday with representatives from the two finalists — Peter Seidler, the nephew of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley, and earlier this week with Gary Jabara, the founder of a wireless communications company in Orange County.

Both parties have entered bids of $800 million — $600 million for the team and $200 million for a portion of the team’s equity stake in FOX Sports San Diego

The terms of the deal are the only remaining issue, and Jabara remains in the mix, the source said.

“From what I’ve heard, it is O’Malley’s and Seidler’s to lose,” the source said. “Moores apparently also likes Jabara a lot and thinks he would be an outstanding owner as well, but the devil is in the details.”

If a buyer is selected soon, a purchase agreement could be in place by the All-Star break and the deal could close by August.

Such a timetable would give the new owner a chance to work with the team’s front office to formulate a strategy for the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The Padres face a significant decision on left fielder Carlos Quentin, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season. The new owner could authorize general manager Josh Byrnes to offer Quentin a long-term extension, and the outcome of such talks could help determine whether Quentin is traded.

The team also could retain Quentin, then attempt to re-sign him at the end of the season.