AP Sources: Owners Approve Sale Of Marlins To Derek Jeter Group

MIAMI (CBSNewYork/AP) — The woebegone Miami Marlins are Derek Jeter’s problem now.

Major league owners on Wednesday approved the sale of the team by Jeffrey Loria to an investment group led by Jeter and Bruce Sherman, two people familiar with the vote said. The people confirmed the decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the approval had not been announced.

One of the people said the vote was unanimous, with 75 percent approval needed.

A signed $1.2 billion agreement was submitted to Major League Baseball last month to sell the Marlins to a group led by Sherman, a venture capitalist who will be the controlling owner. Jeter, the former New York Yankees captain, plans to be a limited partner in charge of the business and baseball operations.

The closing on the sale is expected within a few days.

The Marlins have endured another disappointing year and are assured of their eighth consecutive losing season, the longest streak in the majors. They’ll sit out the playoffs for the 14th year in a row, the longest streak in the National League.

They’re also likely to finish last in the NL in attendance for the 12th time in the past 13 years, creating revenue constraints that may lead to a payroll purge in Jeter’s first offseason as an owner.

Among players who might be shopped is major league home run leader Giancarlo Stanton, whose salary will nearly double next year to $25 million in the fourth season of his record $325 million, 13-year contract.

The transition to new ownership has already begun, with four well-known Marlins executives told last week they won’t be retained. They were special assistant to the president Jeff Conine, who goes by the nickname “Mr. Marlin,” and three special assistants to the owner — Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez, and former manager Jack McKeon, who led the Marlins to the 2003 World Series championship.

Team president David Samson is not expected to be retained. Manager Don Mattingly is a former teammate of Jeter’s and may return.

Jeter, who lives in Tampa, was a 14-time All-Star shortstop who retired in 2014 after 20 seasons with the Yankees. He has no front-office experience but has long talked of his desire to own a team.

Sherman spent much of his financial career in New York and has a home in Naples, Florida. Minority owners are expected to include NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, who will have a small stake.

Loria’s decision to sell the team became public in February, and Jeter’s interest surfaced in April. The Jeter-Sherman group beat out two other groups that pursued the team in the final weeks of negotiations.

Loria, 76, became widely unpopular because of his frugal ownership and the public financing that helped build 5-year-old Marlins Park. He bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002. In April, Forbes valued the team at $940 million, which ranks 25th of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball.

Jeter, 43, had long talked of his desire to own a team. In an interview with CNBC in May 2016, he said he wanted to help grow the sport’s popularity.

“I think some of the other sports are sort of the sexy sports,” Jeter said. “I think kids nowadays, they look at players playing in college and the next year they’re in the NFL or the NBA,” he said. “Baseball, you sort of get lost because you have to play in the minor leagues for a little bit. Kids in this generation are into instant gratification.”

 

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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