Earlier this week, Marlins from Jeffrey Loria, but now things don't seem quite as firm.to buy the
Commissioner Rob Manfred actually said that there are still two bidders.
"There are multiple bidders for the Marlins," Manfred said Thursday at the groundbreaking for the Jackie Robinson Museum (via Associated Press). "There is no agreement in place. We're working with more than one group, and when we have a definitive agreement we'll make an announcement."
"We still have two groups involved in the process," he added (AP). "Timing is one of the things that both the buyer and the seller are working through, so it's just impossible to say at this point, and I don't want to get into really what the issues are. The only reason I commented on this at all is there had been so much out there that really (is) not quite accurate."
One question appears to be whether or not the Bush-Jeter group can raise the funding necessary to fulfill its $1.3 billion bid. A Miami Herald report -- which, for the record, stands by the report that Bush-Jeter won the bidding -- indicates that the group is still trying to raise money.
More from the Herald (the full story is worth reading, by the way):
And according to two sources, Bush is still working to raise that money.
One source in contact with the Commissioner's office said he was told that Bush continues to look for investors.
A prominent South Florida resident said he was approached by a Bush associate this week asking if he would invest in Bush's ownership group.
According to someone briefed on the deal, Bush has assured the Marlins that he and Jeter will have the investors to finance the purchase. Both are investing an unknown amount of their own money, but not nearly enough on their own to reach the asking price.
The Marlins are under the impression that Bush and Jeter -- who both have lots of deep-pocketed friends and associates -- will be able to finance the deal, according to an MLB official. Otherwise, they wouldn't be moving ahead with them.
So it's still possible for the Bush-Jeter group to get this done, but it's not over yet. The group needs to secure the necessary funds, go through the process with the commissioner's office and the rest of the MLB owners. This isn't a process that takes only a few days or even weeks. It's something that we'll be monitoring until the new ownership group is officially announced at some point later this year.
For now, it sounds like the Bush-Jeter team is still the favorite, but it's not over yet.