Future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and former Florida governor Jeb Bush have both been previously reported as potential buyers for the Marlins, but the two have now teamed up in their pursuit of the franchise, reports Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald. The primary competitor for the Bush-Jeter group appears to by New York financier Wayne Rothbaum, according to Hanks, though other groups could yet be involved in the pursuit.
Marlins president David Samson has been candid about the possibility of a sale this year, and owner Jeffrey Loria has acknowledged that there have been inquiries from potential buyers. Loria reportedly had a “handshake agreement” in place to sell the team for $1.6 billion to a group led by Joshua Kushner — the brother of Jared Kushner, who serves as a senior advisor to his father-in-law, president Donald Trump. However, Kushner reportedly did not have enough liquid assets to make the purchase at that price, and eventual rumors that Loria could be named the United States ambassador to France further complicated that potential sale. Kushner eventually issued a statement indicating that he would no longer pursue the deal.
It’s not known at this time exactly what price the Loria is eyeing in a potential sale, though some reports since the first word of the handshake agreement with Kushner have suggested that the team could sell for quite a bit less than that $1.6 billion figure. It stands to reason, though, that the Bush-Jeter group would need additional members in order to pool the requisite funds to make a purchase feasible. Jeter is one of the wealthiest stars in MLB history but still saw his career earnings end up around $265MM (though that figure does not include the undoubtedly sizable sum he has earned from endorsement deals over the past two-plus decades, to say nothing of other investments and ventures).
Charlie Gasparino and Brian Schwartz of FOX Business reported earlier this month that Jeter was working with former Morgan Stanley brokering chief Gregory Fleming (who is now with a small brokerage firm in New York, per AdvisorHub.com’s Mason Bradwell) in his effort to purchase the club. Bush, meanwhile, was said by the FOX Business duo to have enlisted Citigroup to help finance a potential bid. It’s possible that all of those parties have merged to form one cohesive effort at purchasing the Marlins organization, though concrete details on the matter have yet to emerge.