According to multiple sources, the Miami Marlins could be sold by owner Jeffrey Loria.
Darren Rovell. Senior Writer for ESPN.com has reported that “Multiple sources with knowledge of negotiations have told ESPN that real estate mogul Charles Kushner, father-in-law of Ivanka Trump, is part of a potential purchase group. It is not known if he is the primary bidder.”
His son Jared Kushner is the senior adviser to President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and husband of Ivanka Trump.
The team is currently owned by Loria, who bought the team in 2003. Sources state the agreement between Loria and Kushner is a “handshake agreement,” but it has not been approved by Major League Baseball.
"Under Major League Baseball rules, the Commissioner's Office must be informed of any conversations about a potential sale," Major League Baseball said in a statement provided to ESPN. "The Commissioner's Office has not heard directly or indirectly of any conversation involving Charles Kushner."
There had been talk late last season the Marlins may be up for sale, with a group led by former Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. Those rumors vanished toward the end of the season. Former New York Yankees second baseman Derek Jeter was also said to be part of a group looking to purchase the team from Loria. Nothing has come of those reports.
Rovell said A spokesperson for Charles Kushner declined comment. Marlins president David Samson also declined comment.
Earlier Thursday, Forbes and The Associated Press reported that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria had a preliminary agreement to sell the team for about $1.6 billion to a New York businessman, but the deal could fall through because the final purchase price hasn't been determined, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said Thursday.
Since beginning play in the National League in 1993, the Marlins have won two World Series championships as a wild card team. The last time the team had a winning record was 2009 and the last time Miami made the playoffs was 2003, the year Loria purchase the franchise.
This is not the first time the Kushner family has been part of a potential purchase of a Major League team. In 2012, Jared Kushner submitted a bid to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kushner, whose father was not included on it, withdrew from the bidding when it was clear that it was not one of the adequately financed deals. Charles Kushner looked into buying an NBA team over the past eight years, another source with knowledge told ESPN.
The Marlins have the distinction of winning a World Series championship in both seasons they qualified for the postseason, doing so in 1997 and 2003 — both times as the National League wild card team. They defeated the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series, which was notable for shortstop Edgar Rentería driving in second baseman Craig Counsell for the series-clinching run in the 11th inning of the seventh and deciding game. The 2003 season was notable for the firing of manager Jeff Torborg after 38 games. The Marlins were in last place in the NL East with a 16–22 record at the time. Torborg's successor, 72-year-old Jack McKeon, led them to the NL wild card berth in the postseason; they defeated the New York Yankees four games to two in the 2003 World Series.
It should be noted the report on ESPN.com stated the sale would still have a long way to go before it was final.