Even as would-be Marlins owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter begin digging into operational details, the prospective ownership team is still working to finalize the deal reached with current owner Jeffrey Loria in early August. Things still seem to be on course, though the process is far from over.
Indeed, the league intends to take a close look at the arrangement, Charlie Gasparino and Brian Schwartz of FOX Business write, peeking into the pocketbooks of the proposed investor group members and assessing the deal’s structure (in particular, it’s mix of debt and equity). MLB is hoping to ensure that the new ownership group is equipped to engineer a turnaround for a cash-strapped organization.
That effort could take “months” to resolve, per the report. MLB does hope to wrap things up by the time the World Series ends, though. That’s an important time marker, since the offseason kicks into gear immediately thereafter.
That process is already underway. Sherman has already met with MLB owners. Jeter will have his turn to do so within the week, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, as he will present his ideas for running the club to the ownership committee that will assess the deal.
There are no shortage of questions facing the Marlins this winter; the club has had its moments, but still sits five games under .500 and lacks a clear path to contention in 2018. Superstar Giancarlo Stanton and other core players could — some would say should — be dangled in trade over the coming offseason.
Needless to say, Sherman and Jeter will have quite a lot to tackle in assessing the ballclub and implementing a plan. Even if the approval process goes smoothly, there likely won’t be much of a grace period before the new ownership group begins making tough decisions — including, but not limited to, player transactions.
In order to hit the ground running, the owners-to-be have begun assessing the club’s operations. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes, Sherman and Jeter met earlier this week with “various department heads” within the organization, including but not limited to baseball operations. Those sit-downs will presumably help the incoming duo sort out a strategy for revamping the organization once the deal is finalized.