Here’s the latest from the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson on Jeffrey Loria’s attempts to sell the Marlins, as well as some news on the team’s trade plans…
- The Marlins have yet to engage in serious talks with any team about Giancarlo Stanton, though they’re open to listening to offers for the star slugger. Stanton’s availability isn’t really a surprise since Miami is reportedly willing to discuss trading any player on a multi-year deal, though obviously a Stanton trade would be the biggest possible move the Fish could make. Stanton’s enormous contract, opt-out clause after the 2020 season and his full no-trade protection are significant obstacles in any deal, though potentially not insurmountable ones, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal recently outlined.
- The Marlins would like to keep J.T. Realmuto. The 26-year-old has emerged as one of baseball’s best catchers over the last two years, and he is controllable through the 2020 season. Another controllable young star, Justin Bour, is drawing attention from the Yankees but “the Marlins are not going to give away” Bour for anything less than a big price, Jackson writes. Marcell Ozuna (in his arbitration years) and Christian Yelich (locked up on a long-term extension) are available but only for “a substantial return.”
- A source connected to one of the ownership groups competing to buy the Marlins doesn’t believe that a fire sale of large salaries would help move a sale along. A new owner would want a say in such notable player moves, the source said. Cutting payroll is standard operating procedure for teams selling at the deadline, of course, though MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said that a fire sale would first need to be discussed with the league office.
- “Things are moving in the right direction” between the Marlins and the ownership group led by Wayne Rothbaum and Tagg Romney, according to a source. Jackson hears from three sources that the Rothbaum/Romney group hasn’t withdrawn its bid and is willing to buy the team at the right price. The Marlins turned down the group’s $1.1 billion bid but wants to continue talks, as the Rothbaum/Romney group has the means to meet the club’s initial $1.2 billion asking price.
- Miami businessman Jorge Mas also doesn’t value the team at the $1.2 billion price, though he could ultimately make an offer close to that number. Mas and his group are reviewing the Marlins’ financial records and still deciding on how much to bid for the team. The Marlins turned down Mas’ request for an exclusive negotiating window of 10 days, in order to keep the groups led by Derek Jeter and Rothbaum/Romney involved in talks.
- Some in the competing groups have been “frustrated” by the Marlins’ patience with Jeter’s group, as the former Yankees superstar has been having difficulty finding investors to make a competitive bid. Jeter was initially partnered with former Florida governor Jeb Bush, though Bush left the ownership group in May, with one of the issues reportedly stemming from how little of his own money Jeter was investing in the bid. “There have been no serious discussions” of Jeter and Mas partnering together, Jackson writes.