OCT. 2: The sale of the Marlins to the Sherman/Jeter group closed this morning, reports Jackson (on Twitter). Their group now officially owns the Marlins, and a press conference with new ownership will be held later this week.
SEPT. 27: The 29 other Major League owners have approved the sale of the Marlins to the ownership group led by Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports (Twitter link). As per an announcement from Major League Baseball, the 29 owners voted unanimously in favor of the Jeter/Sherman group in a conference call held this afternoon. The approval will only be fully official once the sale closes between the new owners and outgoing Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, though that deal is expected to be finalized next week. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported yesterday that a vote would be coming soon, though the quick turn-around is still something of a surprise, as Heyman’s report indicated it would be a matter of days or weeks.
The news brings a somewhat abrupt end to a rather drawn-out sale process, as several prominent names from the business, entertainment, political and baseball worlds had been mentioned as candidates to buy the Marlins from Jeffrey Loria. Jeter had long been connected to former Florida governor Jeb Bush as part of a bid, though after Bush dropped out of the partnership in May, Jeter changed course with new investors, most prominently Sherman, co-founder of the Private Capital Management wealth-management firm. The group ended up winning the bidding at the reported price of $1.2 billion.
As per Heyman’s report yesterday, that $1.2 billion price tag breaks down as $800MM in actual cash on hand and $400MM of debt. Sherman will own 46 percent of the team and will be the Marlins’ control person in the eyes of Major League Baseball. Jeter will reportedly own four percent of the franchise and become the Marlins’ CEO, as well as overseeing the baseball operations department.
“I congratulate Mr. Sherman on receiving approval from the Major League clubs as the new control person of the Marlins and look forward to Mr. Jeter’s ownership and CEO role following his extraordinary career as a player,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in the league’s official news release.
With the sale all but complete, attention will now fully shift to what the change in ownership will mean for the Marlins both on and off the field as the franchise moves on from the controversial Loria era. There have already been early reports of yet another rebuild in Miami as the new owners are looking to cut payroll, potentially more than halving the Marlins’ $115MM Opening Day payroll from this season if Giancarlo Stanton is traded.