Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush are teaming up in an effort to purchase the Miami Marlins.
USA TODAY Sports
Derek Jeter, still baseball’s most recognizable face, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush have reportedly reached agreement to purchase the Miami Marlins.
Bloomberg reported that Jeter, 42, and Bush – who made a failed bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination – were among the winning group to purchase the Marlins from longtime owner Jeffrey Loria. Jeter and Bush recently consolidated their efforts to buy the club, with their top competition expected to be Wayne Rothbaum, manager of Quogue Capital.
The Miami Herald reported that the purchase price for the club will be $1.3 billion, and that Bush will be the “control person,” in Major League Baseball parlance, for the five-person group.
Officials from MLB and the Marlins refused comment to USA TODAY Sports on the status of the team’s sale. The transaction would be subject to the approval of at least 23 of baseball’s 30 owners, who next meet in May.
“Nobody from the front office has taken me and said, ‘Hey, this is happening,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday’s game at Philadelphia. “It’s premature to talk about it. I’ve talked enough from the standpoint of nothing’s going to change what we’re trying to accomplish.
“It’s not worth it I think publicly going anywhere until (ownership) tells me something is concrete. Until then, I think I’ll hold off to talk about it.”
Loria turned an initial $12 million investment in the Montreal Expos into ownership of the Marlins – which he purchased for $158 million – in 2002. They won a World Series the next year, and in 2012 opened a $634 million ballpark, with some 80% of financing coming from the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County.
When Jeter, who lives in Tampa, retired after the 2014 season, he expressed interest in owning a baseball franchise. Bush, who lives in Coral Gables, is the brother of former President George W. Bush, who was a co-owner of the Texas Rangers from 1989-94. Jeb Bush was governor of Florida from 1999-2007, and withdrew from the presidential race in February 2016, after disheartening showings in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Contributing: Meghan Montemurro in Philadelphia