Tuesday afternoon, news broke that an ownership group including future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and former Florida governor Jeb Bush had won an auction for the Miami Marlins. . It should be noted the sale is far from final. There are still details to finalize, plus MLB and the other 29 owners need to grant approval.
It's unclear exactly how much of the team Jeter will control and how much he is contributing financially. Obviously he banked hundreds of millions of dollars in his playing career. Enough to buy a team outright though? Nah. Not when the selling price is 10 figures.
The Jeter-Bush group is still looking to secure financing:
Since he is on the verge of becoming a major-league owner, this is a good time to answer the question on everyone's mind: How much is Jeter worth? The short answer: hundreds of millions. The long answer ... well, that's complicated, and it's basically impossible to get an exact answer. We can estimate though, so let's do that.
According to the invaluable Baseball Reference, Jeter earned $265,159,364 through his contracts with the Yankees. Most of that comes from the 10-year, $189 million deal he signed in February 2001, which will go down as one of the most successful 10-year contracts in baseball history.
Now, that doesn't mean Jeter has $265 million sitting in his bank account. Well, maybe he does, but it's not entirely from his player contracts. Jeter has to pay taxes on income like everyone else, plus he had union dues. Taxes for pro athletes are insanely complicated. This Portland Press Herald article from 2015 explains why.
Between the so-called "jock tax" and union dues and all that, Jeter's actual take-home pay was roughly half his actual salary. That $265 million in salary equals something close to $133 million in take-home pay, which is still more money than anyone could reasonably spend in a lifetime.
Jeter had several big ticket endorsement deals during his days as a player, and he retains several of them even in retirement. Nike's Jordan brand and Gatorade are Jeter's two most notable endorsements. He also had deals with Rawlings, Steiner Sports, Movada, and Avon. Most estimates peg Jeter's endorsement deals as worth $8 million to $10 million per year in the final seasons of his career.
Being a major-league ballplayer is good work if you can get it. In addition to the salary and endorsements, Jeter also earned licensing money through his MLBPA membership. He was paid for allowing his likeness to appear on baseball cards and video games, among other things.
Also, Jeter played more than 10 years in the big leagues, meaning he is entitled to the MLBPA's full $210,000 a year pension. He won't collect that until age 62, however.
The Yankees also did a lot of winning during the Jeter years, which equals postseason shares. He and the rest of the Yankees each received a $365,052.73 share for winning the 2009 World Series, for example. The Yankees went to the postseason 17 times in Jeter's 20 seasons and won four World Series plus two other AL pennants. It's safe to assume he took home another $1 million-plus in postseason shares along the way.
Between player contracts and endorsements and all the other money-making ventures, Jeter's net worth is estimated at $185 million by TheRichest.com and CelebrityNetWorth.com. Regardless of the exact number, Jeter is a very wealthy man. Just not wealthy enough to cut a check for an MLB franchise. There's a reason he hooked up with Jeb Bush and is looking for ways to finance the Marlins.