Here’s the latest surrounding the potential sale of the Miami Marlins…
- Derek Jeter and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who are leading one of the groups bidding for the Marlins, believe the team “has been spreading misinformation including the terms of the bid,” Ken Davidoff and Josh Kosman of the New York Post report. Jeter and Bush “were exasperated” by apparently inaccurate reports from earlier this week saying they had reached a general agreement to buy the Marlins, as the Jeter/Bush group is still trying to line up investors. A source tells Davidoff and Kosman that Jeter and Bush may eventually decide to not bid altogether: “These are not guys who can afford a vanity acquisition. My guess is they will back out,” the source opines. The Jeter/Bush group has enlisted the help of New York hedge fund financier Anthony Scaramucci as an advisor to bring some new investors into the bid, though Scaramucci himself won’t be joining the ownership group.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post breaks down the economics behind the potential sale, which goes well beyond the $1 billion-plus price tag. Some in the game say the Marlins are $400MM in debt, and a new ownership faces losses in the range of $150-$200MM over its first few years of operations since the club lags behind in such revenue-generating streams as attendance, sponsorships, and a local TV contract. “Some creative bookkeeping” will be required to work out the sale price no matter which competing group ends up buying the Marlins, and current owner Jeffrey Loria “will accept the fastest deal that meets his requests and he believes will be approved by the other owners” in order to get out from under this financial burden.
- Given these costs involved in buying the Marlins, Sherman raises the possibility of another fire sale as a way that a new ownership group could cut costs. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe also raises the possibility, particularly in regards to trading Giancarlo Stanton. The slugger is owed $63MM through the 2019 season, and then, if he doesn’t exercise his opt-out clause following that year, a whopping $244MM through the 2027 season. Even though Miami would surely have to eat some of this contract in a trade, Cafardo still wonders if a deal could be reached given Stanton’s injury history and less-than-elite production in 2016.
- Also from Cafardo’s piece, he reports that the ownership group led by Tom Glavine and Tagg Romney appears to have all of the investors arranged behind its $1.1 billion bid. A source tells Cafardo that it doesn’t appear as though as of Glavine and Romney’s investors would leave the bid to join the Jeter/Bush group.
- Marlins manager Don Mattingly and catcher A.J. Ellis are no strangers to performing under an ownership change, Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times writes, as both were with the Dodgers during that team’s perhaps even more tumultuous sale from Frank McCourt to the Guggenheim Baseball ownership group. “That uncertainty, at this stage, is definitely hanging,” Ellis said. “There’s so many guys here who have been with the Marlins their whole life. That’s all they’ve ever known. It could be a huge life change for them.”