It looks like Derek Jeter may be getting back in the business of baseball and he has his sights set on the city of Miami to make an impact.
According to several reports including a story on the Huffington Post’s website, Jeter is heading a group to make a run at buying the Marlins. After several reports of the past year of different individuals and groups looking to purchase the organization from current owner Jeffrey Loria, this one may have the greatest chance of going forward.
The former New York Yankees captain is supposedly part of a team of prospective buyers that’s up against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to buy the franchise. Jeter expressed interest in owning a Major League Baseball team an interview last May with CNBC’s Squawk Box,” the report says.
“The thing that I’m interested in is making the game grow,” Jeter said. “I mean I think baseball is starting taking somewhat of a backseat to some of the other sports, and in my mind I think this is the greatest sport in the world. And I’m interested in helping the game grow.”
This is not the first time someone with a political background has been linked to the purchase of the team. Former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was rumored to be part of a group looking to buy the team last year. Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, has been in the news when it comes to Loria selling the team this year. His family had been rumored to have a “handshake” deal to buy the team, but backed off when it was learned Loria may be named Embassador to France.
The article, written by Doha Madani, reports the Marlins were one of the worst teams in the league at one point, but they have been doing better in recent years. Recruitment of rookies such as Giancarlo Stanton has pushed the team back into the spotlight after the team’s 2003 World Series win. The team rebranded from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins in 2012.
They also moved into a new stadium.
As part of a story I wrote for Marlins Mania in February, when asked whether the Miami Marlins would be sold to a potential buyer, Miami Marlins president Dave Samson downplayed reports that the organization is considering a purchase offer and stressed that the club's primary focus in 2017 is to be a postseason contender.
"There's obviously a lot of buzz -- there are rumors," Samson said. "There's all sorts of stuff that happens all the time. Are these rumors different than other rumors? Time will always tell what happens."
He also told MLB.com and other media outlets there are offers to buy the team on a monthly basis.
Loria had previously owned the Montreal Expos and bought the team from John Henry as part of a multi-team transaction, Henry gained ownership of the Red Sox.
"You always listen to anything, because that's responsible," Samson said. "But the commitment to Miami that I feel, that we feel, never wavered. If you think about all the times back in 2002, I'm not sure people were lining up to replace John Henry."
In this case, where there is smoke, the is usually fire and a deal for the team, although it must be approved by Major League Baseball, could be finalized after the All-Star break. The Marlins are the host team for the Mid-Summer Classic this season.
The potential for the purchase of the team by Kushner caught a tail wind late last week when it was first reported on Forbes.com. Other media outlets reported there had been a meeting between Kushner and Loria and that a “handshake” agreement had been reached. That agreement, as Forbes reported, was for $1.6 billion.