MLB source: Derek Jeter, NY busi­ness­man Bruce Sher­man to pur­chase Mar­lins.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

Mi­ami Mar­lins owner Jeffrey Lo­ria has agreed to sell the fran­chise for $1.2 bil­lion to a group led by New York busi­ness­man Bruce Sher­man and for­mer New York Yan­kees star Derek Jeter, and Ma­jor League Base­ball was ex­pected to re­ceive the writ­ten agree­ment Fri­day, ac­cord­ing to a New York-based MLB source.

Sher­man, a wealthy ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist who has a home in New York and is build­ing a home in South Flor­ida, will be the “con­trol per­son,” sim­i­lar to a man­ag­ing gen­eral part­ner. Jeter, the for­mer New York Yan­kees star short­stop, will run the busi­ness and base­ball sides of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, the source said.

The Sher­man/Jeter group has about 16 in­vestors and they have raised the money to pur­chase the team af­ter months of seek­ing in­vestors to meet Lo­ria’s ask­ing price, the source said.

A pur­chase agree­ment with the Sher­man/Jeter group, which has been worked on for months, was ex­pected to be com­pleted Fri­day and sub­mit­ted to MLB of­fices in New York.

Sher­man, a Mar­lins fan, in­creased his in­vest­ment in the bid af­ter wealthy Chicago busi­ness­man Richard Chaifetz backed out of the deal.

Jeter is be­lieved to be con­tribut­ing only $25 mil­lion of his own money but has a great re­la­tion­ship with Sher­man, who will al­low Jeter to es­sen­tially run the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

MLB of­fi­cials are ex­pected to dis­cuss the sale, but not vote on it, dur­ing own­ers meet­ings in Chicago next week. Sher­man and pos­si­bly Jeter are ex­pected to meet with the own­er­ship com­mit­tee prior for a full vote of own­ers, which is the fi­nal re­quired step for the sale’s com­ple­tion.

The vote could be weeks away, with closing ex­pected the first week of Oc­to­ber.

Mi­ami busi­ness­man Jorge Mas also pur­sued the team and met with Mar­lins of­fi­cials this week, but did not match the $1.2 bil­lion bid of the Sher­man/Jeter group.

New York busi­ness­man Wayne Roth­baum, who led a com­pet­ing group that in­cluded for­mer Flor­ida Gov­er­nor Jeb Bush, also bid for the Mar­lins be­fore stop­ping his pur­suit ear­lier this week.

Lo­ria has owned the team since 2002 and won a World Se­ries in 2003, but the Mar­lins haven’t made the play­offs since then, the sec­ond-long­est post­sea­son drought in Ma­jor League Base­ball be­hind the Seat­tle Mariners.

Lo­ria de­cided to sell the team for per­sonal rea­sons and has been seek­ing a buyer for months.


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