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