11:20pm: Mas “seems like a surefire favorite,” writes Heyman, though he notes that the finalization of a deal may yet take as many as two weeks. Heyman agrees with the $1.17 billion figure that Ozanian reported yesterday. Mas’ involvement in the Miami community is seen as a big plus by the league, Heyman writes, and he also notes that Jeter’s group consists mostly of investors that are committing money in $10-50MM increments. Mas, on the other hand, has a net worth of more than $2 billion and has a “couple other investors,” Heyman writes, which obviously makes the transaction less complicated.
Jeter was, at one point, offered a spot in Mas’ ownership group, according to Heyman. He preferred to continue his own efforts due to his desire to be the ownership group’s control person.
10:05pm: Manfred said today that three bids are all comparable in terms of price, as Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes. With final negotiations playing out, Loria will soon have to make a decision on which bid to accept. Loria refused to offer much of a comment when asked by reporters today, Healey adds. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick did note that Loria firmly denied that there’s any deal in place.
JULY 11, 10:20am: Perhaps it’s too soon to count out the group led by Romney and Wayne Rothbaum. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets that its members are still expressing confidence in landing the club. Indeed, it has even added another local celebrity to its slate of investors in hopes of boosting the bid (thus making for another odd twist in this particular saga). Per Jackson, Armando Christian Perez — once the Marlins’ DJ and now famous by his stage name, Pitbull — is now a part of the bidding group (along with former Jeter compatriot Jeb Bush, Hall of Fame hurler Tom Glavine, recently fired D-Backs GM Dave Stewart and others).
JULY 10: With all eyes on Marlins Park as it hosts this year’s All-Star Game festivities, the ongoing efforts to find a buyer for the Miami organization appear to be reaching a boiling point. Though a deal obviously wasn’t struck before the mid-summer classic, as had been hoped, commissioner Rob Manfred suggested today that the process will likely come to a conclusion in the near-term.
Notably, per Manfred, that uncertainty does not mean that the league will be looking at any deadline activities. “They don’t need my permission to make player moves,” the commissioner said. While sale considerations could still influence the decisionmaking, then, it’s notable that other organizations won’t need to worry about the league’s position in attempting to structure deals with the Marlins.
Despite the apparent momentum, it’s still uncertain just how the bidding will turn out. Multiple reports disagree, in fact, as to which direction the winds are blowing. Since the information currently occupying the newswire can best be described as deeply conflicting, we’ll run through the latest chatter to get a sense of the state of play.
Kicking things off today was a report from Mike Ozanian of Forbes, in which he said an agreement is in place between current owner Jeffrey Loria and Miami billionaire Jorge Mas. Per Ozanian, the deal will be finalized at a $1.17B price tag — unless “an unusual twist” scuttles things.
Both the current ownership group and the would-be buyer, though, told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that no agreement was in place. Such a public stance may not be fully incompatible with that report, but others cast more doubt. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, for example, hears that Mas is in the lead — but also that he has yet to secure a deal with Loria.
In the face of all that, then, came a New York Post report indicating that Mas likely won’t land the Fish. Instead, per Josh Krosman, Ken Davidoff, and Claire Atkinson, it’s the Derek Jeter-led bidding group (which now also includes Michael Jordan) that seems to be “closing in on a deal” with Loria. The Post pegs the price at $1.2B and suggests the entire affair will be finished by “next week.”
If it’s possible to draw any conclusions at this point, it seems that the bidding is now a two-horse race — with the Tagg Romney-led group now falling largely out of the picture. Beyond that, however, there’s a total lack of certainty even as the organization weighs potential trade scenarios for large portions of its MLB roster.