That other party appears to have upped the ante. According to a report from Barry Jackson and Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald, a group fronted by businessman Tagg Romney, son of one-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has submitted an offer worth just above the $1.3 billion bid by the Jeter/Bush effort.
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The source claims that the Romney group’s bid comes in at more than $1.3 billion, but less than $1.4 billion. The Marlins and Major League Baseball are reviewing the offers, with Manfred providing the following update to the Herald:
“We have two very strong groups that we believe will have sufficient financial resources to complete the sale and run the team effectively.”
“Run the team effectively” should be a welcome concept to Marlins fans who have grown weary of Jeffrey Loria’s unpopular ownership over the years. Amid buzz about a potential ambassadorship, Loria is apparently motivated to sell the franchise in short order.
The competing groups are similar in that they unite a member of a prominent political family with a renowned former ballplayer. Hall of Famer Tom Glavine counts himself as part of Romney’s faction, lending some baseball credibility and star power to the bid.
While we don’t know too much about the Romney camp’s plans for the Marlins should they close the deal, aside from Glavine desiring a front office role, we’ve recently learned more about Bush and Jeter’s prospective ownership.
Per the Herald story, Bush suggested that he would adopt a patient approach to building the roster as opposed to overseeing a significant increase in payroll. Jeter would apparently be put in charge of baseball operations.
Bush, who was Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, also expressed an interest in boosting the Marlins’ presence and engagement in Latin America. He remains confident that an agreement will eventually be reached.
Actually meeting the discussed purchase price, however, might be easier said than done. The Herald says that Loria and Bush had a handshake agreement to complete the deal, but the former politician has yet to prove that he and his investors indeed have enough. MLB and the Marlins continue sifting through the financial tangle.