Per a story on MLB.com by Joe Frisaro, Miami Marlins team president David Samson said Tuesday he would "not be shocked" if the franchise is sold before the end of the regular season, categorizing talks with potential buyers as being in the "fourth inning."
"We've never gotten past the second inning before," Samson said prior to Miami's home opener against the Braves at Marlins Park. "So it's further than we've been, but a lot can still happen."
The sale of the Marlins has been a hot topic the past week, with news coming out that both Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush are looking to purchase the franchise. The latest news from Samson comes on the heels of the Marlins opening their first homestand of the season with an 8-4 win over the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park.
Samson said "multiple" groups have expressed interest in buying the team from Jeffrey Loria, who has owned the Marlins since 2002. He also told the media he would not confirm who or what other groups may have expressed interest in the team, citing confidentiality amongst the parties.
"It's sort of a big, long-term decision to make," Samson said. "It's Jeffrey's decision to make, because he's the owner, but I think he recognizes not wanting to tie down and make a decision for 10 or 15 years at this point, when you're in the fourth inning [of sales talks]."
The Marlins first home game of the season was as much a celebration of the team as it was the start of home baseball in south Florida. The 1997 World Series team was honored for the 20th anniversary of their accomplishment. The organization also recognized current Marlins’ players who played in the World Baseball Classic.
According to the story, the Marlins have been open about Loria's openness to sell since the start of Spring Training. This is a big season for baseball in South Florida, with Marlins Park hosting the All-Star Game on July 11. Both former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the Kushner family have been linked to a possible sale.
Samson would not give a specific time frame for a sale, but he did note that the organization is taking a step back on talks for a stadium naming rights deal due to the potential sale of the club.