The saga of the potential sale of the Marlins has been ongoing for months now, with a group led by Derek Jeter and another led by Tom Glavine and Tagg Romney believed to be at the forefront of the mix. There’s been plenty written to suggest that those groups are still in the process of raising the necessary funds to meet MLB’s debt requirements, and Charles Gasparino of FOX Business suggests that both may have hit a significant snag.
Per Gasparino, both groups are still “hundreds of millions” of dollars short of the reported $1.3 billion asking price for the Marlins, which has tabled the bidding war for the time being. Other potential buying groups, according to Gasparino, want current owner Jeffrey Loria to lower his asking price to roughly $900MM. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald cites a source in echoing Gasparino’s point that both groups are well shy of the $1.3 billion threshold.
Jackson also notes that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred appeared on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM with Craig Mish and Jim Bowden, telling the pair that he’s confident a sale of the Marlins will be completed in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
According to Manfred, there’s been an “amazing” amount of interest in purchasing the Marlins, though the Jeter and Romney/Glavine groups are indeed the two front-runners and the two likeliest groups to complete a sale. The commissioner stated that is is “convinced the Marlins are going to sell” before suggesting that he is optimistic of a deal being reached sooner rather than later. Asked about the possibility of needing to consult with new owners before the trade deadline, Manfred replied: “I am hoping we get some clarity well before the trading deadline. … It would be best for all concerned if we got to point where we know who the new owner would be before that happens so they have some input in that process.”
At present, there haven’t been any public reports of a third serious suitor emerging. To the contrary, former Florida governor Jeb Bush bowed out of the group which he was said to be leading with Jeter, though reports since his departure have indicated that he was only lined up to commit about $10MM of his own resources to the sale. His departure doesn’t necessarily come without consequence, of course, as Bush undoubtedly could have played a significant role in rounding up investors to reach the requisite sum needed for an earnest bid.