MLB owners unanimously green-light purchase of Royals by Sherman group

John Sherman speaks to reporters being approved as the new controlling owner of the Royals.
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ARLINGTON, Texas — John Sherman was approved Thursday as the new controlling owner of the Kansas City Royals, and his group plans to close its deal to purchase the team from David Glass and his family next week.

Major League Baseball owners voted unanimously to approve the deal, which was announced Aug. 30 and was expected to be worth about $1 billion. Sherman and his local co-investors will become only the third owners since Ewing Kauffman founded the club ahead of the 1969 season.

“I am deeply appreciative of the commissioner’s office and my fellow owners for their confidence and trust and vote today,” Sherman said, without taking questions. “It’s a responsibility that I’ll take very seriously.”

Sherman, 64, has lived in Kansas City for more than four decades, even after he bought a non-controlling interest in the Cleveland Indians. He founded, built and then sold a series of energy companies.

“He had a three-year indoctrination with the Indians. The Indians are regarded to be a very well-run and obviously very competitive on the field organization,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “I think the opportunity to function inside a quality major league organization gives John a unique opportunity to take over in Kansas City, not miss a step.”

Sherman’s equity in the Indians has been put in a trust, pending its sale, Manfred said.

Sherman thanked Indians owner Paul Dolan, calling him a “great partner” in four seasons there.

“I look forward to being his partner for years to come in Major League Baseball,” Sherman said.

Manfred said there was a “very moving moment” during this week when owners at their meetings stopped to thank Glass for his stewardship of the Royals franchise.

“I think for a lot of us, me included, David has kind of been the center of our industry in a lot of ways,” Manfred said.

Kansas City this year went 59-103, its second straight 100-loss season. Ned Yost, who led the Royals to their second World Series title in 2015, retired as manager and was replaced by Mike Matheny.