Miami Herald

Storylines: Marlins have a "handshake" agreement in place to sell the team

The Miami Marlins are close to undergoing an ownership change as a handshake deal is in place for a New York buyer to purchase the team for $1.6 billion...

Top Storylines:

- The Miami Marlins have been stuck in mediocrity for a long time now.  A change in ownership may be forthcoming soon as the Marlins reportedly have a “handshake agreement” to sell the team to a New York real estate developer for approximately $1.6 billion per Mike Ozanian of Forbes.  This marks a 912% increase from the price that current Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria originally bought the team for as he paid $158.5MM back in 2002.  The deal is not yet final as the potential buyer is lacking in liquid assets to make the purchase and MLB is not willing to allow him to purchase the franchise and take on such a high debt.  The change in ownership will undoubtedly cause quite a stir amongst the fan base as Loria has been one of the most frequently criticized owners in baseball for quite a while.  He has drawn the ire of the fans for his apparent lack of spending to make the team better and his frequent fire sales of key players as well as opening a new stadium back in 2012 built mostly on taxpayers money.  This is coming during a time when the Marlins are still reeling as a franchise due to the tragic demise of star pitcher Jose Fernandez.  

Other Storylines:

- Free agent second baseman Chase Utley is nearing a decision as to which team he will play for per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Utley has narrowed his choices down to four teams and is only focusing on contenders.  The veteran is most likely set to be a left-handed bench bat as he is no longer capable of playing everyday but still possesses plenty of pop and experience for a playoff-bound team.

- The Minnesota Twins are reportedly keen on adding a power bat to their lineup per Jon Heyman of FanRag.  The Twins were apparently interested in Mike Napoli before he signed with the Texas Rangers and are now discussing the possibility of adding free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.  Alvarez is coming off a decent year in which he hit .249/.322/.504 and slugged 22 homers and 49 RBIs in a limited role with the Baltimore Orioles.  He’s not a good defender and would most likely be relegated to hitting in the designated hitter’s role but sill has plenty of pop in his bat.

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