Miami Marlins: Derek Jeter Interested in Buying Franchise

Yankees legend Derek Jeter is reportedly exploring a bid to purchase the Miami Marlins, but he won”t lack for competition.

Derek Jeter has often talked about his desire to someday own a baseball franchise, and two years after retiring from his playing career, it sounds like he’s getting serious about the possibility. According to FOX Business, the former Yankees shortstop is among the potential bidders interested in buying the Miami Marlins.

Jeter has partnered with former Morgan Stanley executive Gregory Fleming in his efforts to purchase the team. He’s not the only high-profile party preparing a bid either. Former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is leading another group along with Citigroup. A third faction is reportedly being organized with Goldman Sachs.

In other words, money abounds.

Speculation about a potential sale of the Marlins had ramped up in recent months amid reports that owner Jeffrey Loria was looking to let go of the club in anticipation of taking an ambassadorship to France. While Loria has apparently not yet accepted any ambassador position, it seems a deal to sell the Marlins is still very much in the works.

A Forbes story in February sent ripples throughout the baseball world when it claimed that Loria already had a tentative agreement in place to sell the team for a stunning $1.6 billion. That deal seemed to fizzle out, however, when it was revealed that the bidding group included Joshua Kushner, brother of the president’s son-in-law. In order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, the Kushner family announced that it would not seek to buy the franchise if Loria took the ambassadorship.

While it appears that particular deal won’t happen, the financial details provide an idea of just what kind of price tag we could be looking at here when a sale actually goes down.

Marlins fans would likely embrace just about any new owner over Loria, who has gained a reputation as one of Major League Baseball’s more reviled figures. Frequent clashes with management, questionable business practices and an inability to put a winning product on the field have not won him any love from the public.

Though it’s strange to imagine him not associated with the Yankees, Jeter makes sense as the new ownership face of the Marlins for a few reasons. The future Hall of Famer now makes the Sunshine State his full-time home since hanging up the spikes in 2014. He’s also widely respected around fanbases throughout the league – quite a feat considering how polarizing the Bronx Bombers are.

For what it’s worth, Marlins manager Don Mattingly believes Jeter would make a good owner. Per MLB.com:

“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.'”

Mattingly knows Jeter well; aside from both being Yankee fan favorites, Mattingly was briefly Jeter’s teammate in 1995, and he also served on the Yankees’ coaching staff from 2004 to 2007.

Jeter could bring the kind of goodwill and fan confidence the Marlins sorely need right now, but his future ownership is by no means guaranteed. Considering the type of well-funded financial heavyweights he’s reportedly competing against, there’s no telling who will come out on top of this big-money battle.

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