Derek Jeter, Jeb Bush Reportedly Have Deal To Buy Miami Marlins
Derek Jeter predicted as far back as 2007 that one day he would own a baseball team. That prediction is reportedly becoming true. The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that a group led by the former Yankees star shortstop and former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush have agreed in principle to purchase the Marlins from Jeffrey Loria for $1.3 billion. A Marlins official declined to comment on the report. For Loria, a New York art dealer and Yankees fan who hired Don Mattingly as Miami manager in October 2015, the sale represents an enormous return on his $158.5 million purchase in 2002 from then-owner John W. Henry, who now owns the Red Sox. That sale included a $38.5 million, interest-free loan from Major League Baseball. Loria had previously owned the Montreal Expos, and MLB assumed stewardship of that franchise concurrent to Loria assuming control of the Marlins and Henry buying into the Red Sox. According to Forbes, the Marlins franchise is valued at $940 million. The deal requires approval by 75 percent of the other 29 major league owners, and though the Marlins are reportedly optimistic the deal will be finalized, it still may take months to conclude the agreement. According to the newspaper, Bush would have control of franchise decisions, but that the Tampa-based Jeter will play an active role. The Bush-Jeter group includes five investors, none of whom were identified in the Herald report. Bush's brother, former president George W. Bush, owned the Rangers from 1989-98. When Jeter retired, he was asked if he wanted to remain in the game, perhaps as a manager. “My aspirations are a little bigger, in terms of the ownership side of things,” Jeter told reporters last November. Jeter has quite the work ahead of him in terms of turning around the franchise. The Marlins have not had a winning season since 2009 and they have ranked 27th or worse in attendance every year since 2013, the year after Marlins Park opened.