Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and a group of investors won the bid to buy the Miami Marlins from owner Jeffrey Loria for $1.2 billion dollars.
Group led by Derek Jeter buys Miami Marlins
Months ago there were rumors of Jeter acting with a group to purchase the Marlins, but there were two other main bidders tied to buying the Marlins. Groups led by Wayne Rothbaum and Jorge Mas were the two other groups involved in the bidding war for the Marlins, but both groups dropped out of the race, leaving Jeter the last bidder standing to buy out Miami.
Although Jeter, who will reportedly become the club’s CEO, will be responsible for both baseball and business operations in Miami, he will not be the main controller. That belongs to Bruce Sherman. Other members of the new ownership group includes NBA legend Michael Jordan.
It’s unclear what plans the new Jeter/Sherman ownership group has for the Miami Marlins but there are a couple points to keep in mind. Despite the sunny weather in Miami, the Marlins have failed to fill seats at their park. Jeter will also have to work on a future TV deal, which will depend on an improvement in fan attendance at Marlins Park. Before there is a improvement in fan attendance, or a TV deal is settled, the new owner will have to make improvements on the field. The club has posted a .500 record since when the team was known as the Florida Marlins.
It will be hard for the Jeter/Sherman group to make improvements right away due to Miami’s weak farm system, but the Marlins do have some key pieces they can work with. Giancarlo Stanton has a huge contract, but he also has had a stellar year so far slashing at .275/.368/.614 with 39 bombs. Younger players such as Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, Dan Straily, and Justin Bour, are all pieces the Marlins can build their team around. On the other hand, the new ownership group are going to have to address contracts such as Junichi Tazawa, Wei-Yin Chen, Brad Ziegler, Martin Prado, and Edinson Volquez.
For an organization that has a payroll over $115 million to open the 2017 season, the Marlins production has been underwhelming. Unless the Jeter/Sherman ownership group is ready to invest in the young talent, the Fish might have to prepare to undergo a rebuilding course this winter. Either way, the Marlins are in for an exciting offseason.