Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has agreed to sell the team to the group publicly fronted by Yankees legend Derek Jeter, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Reportedly, the sale price is $1.2 billion. Any such sale would need to be approved by current Major League Baseball owners.
Per Jackson, Jeter will be putting up a rather modest $25 million of his own money. His group includes 16 investors, and New York venture capitalist Bruce Sherman is believed to be putting up the largest share of the purchase price. Even so, Jeter, who Ken Rosenthal reports will be CEO of the team, is expected to run both the baseball operations and business sides.
By most accounts, Miami businessman Jorge Mas was Jeter's last remaining competition, as the group that included former Florida governor Jeb Bush recently dropped out of the bidding. Loria has been a deeply unpopular owner during his time at the helm of the Expos and then Marlins, and having Jeter as the public face of the franchise would be a vast improvement on those grounds alone. Given Jeter's popularity and standing within the game, it seems highly likely that his group's bid would be approved in the presence of strong financing.
Loria has been courting buyers for some time and reportedly wants to finalize a sale of the team before year's and. This decision and subsequent step forward would adhere to such a timeline.
As for Jeter, now 43, he retired from playing in 2014 after parts of 20 seasons with the Yankees. With 3,465 hits, 14 All-Star appearances and five World Series rings he'll go into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Ever since Jeter stepped away, it has been something of an open secret that he had designs on team ownership. This reported agreement marks his biggest step yet toward that goal.