Evidently, Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush are not the favorites to land the Miami Marlins anymore. According to multiple sources, including a story on The Sporting News website, MLB has told the groups bidding on the team that it wants to see the cash up front to prove they have the financial wherewithal to close the deal and operate the team, the Associated Press reported. Because of the league’s demand, the group led by Tagg Romney now has a head in front in the race to buy the Marlins.
That could shake things up mightily in the race to take over the organization from current owner Jeffrey Loria.
Both groups have been jockeying for position the past month, with Jeter and Bush believed to be the front runners from the start of this process. In the past two weeks, the money behind the Romney group, which includes Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine and former starter Dave Stewart has leapfrogged the popular duo.
Commissioner Rob Manfred’s office has told the bid groups that Romney’s group has raised a greater percentage of the money needed for the league’s owners to approve a deal, a source told the AP.
According to sporting news.com, the Romney group offered Alex Rodriguez an opportunity to join their run, but the former New York Yankees star and teammate of Jeter declined the offer.
Last month, Rob Hille of The Sporting News reported the Jeter-Bush group has an agreement in principle to pay $1.3 billion for the team, according to a Miami Herald report that cited an unidentified source. Bloomberg first reported the Jeter-Bush group's bid had won out.
Loria, who has owned the Marlins since 2002, originally purchased the ball club for $158 million. It was believed the team would sell for $1.6 billion as late as the end of 2016. Multiple sources reported last month Jeter-Bush made an offer of $1.3 billion to purchase the team, but had not raised enough cash to make the deal happen.