CAP­TAIN HOOKS THE MAR­LINS

Derek is set to rule Mar­lins $1.2B deal for floun­der­ing club needs MLB OK

New York Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHRIS­TIAN RED and DE­NIS SLATTERY

LONG­TIME YANKEE cap­tain Derek Jeter is part of an in­vestor group that will buy the Mi­ami Mar­lins from cur­rent owner Jeffrey Lo­ria for a stag­ger­ing $1.2 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to re­ports Fri­day. Jeter will now get his turn as the boss — he’ll be in charge of base­ball op­er­a­tions.

DEREK JETER’S dreams of own­ing his own base­ball fran­chise are about to be­come a ma­jor league re­al­ity.

The 43-year-old re­tired Yan­kees leg­end is ink­ing a $1.2 bil­lion deal to takeover the strug­gling Mi­ami Mar­lins, along with a 16-in­vestor group that in­cludes New York busi­ness­man Bruce Sher­man.

The group fi­nally won over team owner Jeffrey Lo­ria — who bought the strug­gling fran­chise in 2002 for $158 mil­lion — af­ter a months-long saga that fea­tured a ro­tat­ing cast of big monied po­ten­tial buy­ers.

The Mi­ami Her­ald first re­ported the score Fri­day.

MLB did not re­turn a call for com­ment, nor did Mar­lins pres­i­dent David Sam­son.

The Sher­man-Jeter coali­tion beat out two other groups that were hop­ing to reel in the team in the fi­nal weeks of ne­go­ti­a­tions. One group that struck out was led by South Flor­ida busi­ness­man Jorge Mas, and an­other in­cluded for­mer Flor­ida Gov. Jeb Bush, who re­cently halted his pur­suit of a deal.

MLB com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred said last month that all three groups of­fered about the same amount of money, but there were le­gal and fi­nanc­ing is­sues that led to de­lays.

Lo­ria pre­vi­ously reached a “hand­shake agree­ment” to sell

the ball­club to Charles Kush­ner, the fa­ther of Pres­i­dent Trump’s son-in-law and ad­viser Jared Kush­ner, for $1.6 bil­lion. But when Kush­ner learned Lo­ria was be­ing con­sid­ered to be am­bas­sador to France, he felt it would not be in ei­ther party’s best in­ter­est to pur­sue the pur­chase.

Other is­sues arose dur­ing the en­su­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Jeter, who’s re­port­edly pony­ing up $25 mil­lion of his own money, had trou­ble rais­ing funds as he sought ad­di­tional in­vestors.

For­mer bas­ket­ball star, and oc­ca­sional base­ball player, Michael Jor­dan jumped on board last month.

If MLB ap­proves the deal, Jeter’s group will be tak­ing on an es­ti­mated $400 mil­lion in debt, plus re­ported an­nual losses be­tween $40 mil­lion and $60 mil­lion.

The Mar­lins won one World Se­ries ti­tle dur­ing Lo­ria’s ten­ure — in 2003 — but the club hasn’t made the play­offs since.

Mar­lins Park, in its sixth sea­son, con­tin­ues to draw pal­try crowds at home games year af­ter year.

Yet Jeter has long stated his de­sire to be a base­ball owner, in­clud­ing dur­ing his play­ing days.

“I’ve made it very clear of own­er­ship as­pi­ra­tions at some point. Who knows when that is, who knows if you get the op­por­tu­nity. I hope I do,” he said in De­cem­ber.

Jeter, who spent 20 years in pin­stripes, re­tired from base­ball in 2014. He mar­ried model Han­nah Davis a year later and the cou­ple an­nounced in Fe­bru­ary they are ex­pect­ing their first child, a daugh­ter.

Mar­lins man­ager Don Mattingly, a fel­low for­mer Bronx Bomber, said he was un­aware of Jeter be­com­ing a team owner but pre­dicted Mr. Novem­ber would be well-suited for the role.

“Derek has been suc­cess­ful at ev­ery­thing he’s tried to do,” Mattingly said be­fore Fri­day night’s game against the Colorado Rock­ies. “What Derek’s been able to do with his ca­reer, who he is as a per­son, there’s noth­ing in there that leads you to be­lieve that he’s not go­ing to be suc­cess­ful with re­ally what­ever he wants to do.”

MLB own­ers meet next week in Chicago.

A sale re­quires ap­proval of at least 75% of the ma­jor league clubs, and the ap­proval process could take three to six months.

Derek Jeter should wear a big smile as group he rep­re­sents is on track to buy the Mar­lins (sta­dium above) from cur­rent Mi­ami owner Jeffrey Lo­ria (left). Jeter hopes to mir­ror the suc­cess he had as Yan­kees cap­tain (far left).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.