Let the bidding war begin. Derek Jeter has faced tough opponents over the course of his career in a New York Yankees uniform, but none may be tougher than the former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush as both are trying to buy the Miami Marlins.
Word broke Wednesday that Jeter and a group of investors were looking to purchase the team from current owner Jeffrey Loria. The same can be said for the former governor and Presidential candidate. It’s a competition that will have an impact on the organization moving forward.
It has been no secret that Loria, who purchased the team in 2033, has been looking to sell. Many prospective individuals and groups have inquired about making a deal. Jeter would be a solid fit, having playing in the majors and his appeal to the baseball community. Loria’s relationship with the fans in south Florida is less than salty.
Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly acknowledged Jeter, a former teammate in New York, talked about owning a team from their days together with the Yankees.
"I'm sure he'd be good," Mattingly said. "Jeets pretty much seems to be good at everything he tries to do. ... He's always talked about it. I asked him if he wanted to coach. He was like, 'Never.'"
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote that at the start of Spring Training, Marlins president David Samson publicly acknowledged that owner Jeffrey Loria is entertaining offers for the club.
"It doesn't really change for us, as far as just getting ready and playing," Mattingly said. "We knew the report was out there early in spring and the middle of spring. Nothing has really changed as far as us getting ready to play and making sure our guys are focused and just trying to play our best baseball."
Mattingly isn’t the only former teammate throwing support Jeter’s way.
Current Yankees skipper and former teammate Joe Girardi echoed Mattingly’s sentiments when asked to comment on the potential move.
"Derek Jeter's name probably comes up a lot, and you don't always know the validity of it, but I know he loves the game and I think he'd be a great owner," Girardi said. "And if it is the case, I wish him the best of luck. He'll always be a Yankee to me, no matter what he does. But I know how much he loves the game."
Jeter told the media that should he buy an MLB team, he would use a business model that has some of the same traits as the late Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner.
"I would love to be part of an ownership group," Jeter said in 2014. "I would love to own a team. I would not want to manage, coach, anything like that. The travel schedule is very, very difficult, and I've been doing it for a long time. And so I would like to get away from that a little bit and hopefully be in a position one day where I can make all of the decisions."