Kansas City Royals Discussing Sale of the Club

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 20: A detailed view of a Kansas City Royals baseball hat prior to the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 20, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Kansas City Royals may be changing ownership.

As reported by Ken Rosenthal, Royals owner David Glass is in discussions to sell the club which he has owned since 2000. The group that is most in the running for the club is spearheaded by Kansas City native John Sherman. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because Sherman is currently the vice-chairman and minority owner of the Cleveland Indians.

Should the sale go through, Sherman would then divest himself from the Indians organization as noted by Jeff Passan. Also to note, if the sale were to be finalized, then it would end a 20 year run by David Glass owning the Royals franchise. Forbes had the Royals organization listed with a price tag of roughly $1 billion back in April, and the expected sale is looking at exceeding that mark. Glass initially bought the team for $96 million back in 2000.

The History

Since becoming a team back in 1969, Kansas City has had only three owners. Ewing Kauffman kickstarted the Royals as he bought the team as an expansion franchise for the 1969 season. That came after Charlie Finley decided to move the then Kansas City Athletics to Oakland. At the time, following legal pressure, the American League decided to award teams to both Kansas City and Seattle.

Following Kauffman’s initial ownership of the team, he proceeded to run the organization for 24 years. Unable to find a local buyer at the time, Kauffman organized that upon his death, the team would go to a local charitable foundation. The goal was to keep the team in Kansas City.

Glass’s connection to the team came when the board to that foundation was created. Glass, the head of the board at that time, bought the team outright six years later. Glass purchased the team for $96 million on April 18 of 2000. That came despite an offer for $120 million from Miles Prentice. MLB rejected Prentice’s offer because he didn’t have enough net worth to withstand substantial losses. An original stipulation of the sale from Glass was that any profits must go to charity.

Under Glass’s leadership, the Royals cut payroll from $41 million to a mere $19 million. Glass was a strong presence in the salary cap aspect following the 1994-95 strike.

The Present

The Kansas City Royals as of Tuesday, August 27 are 46-86 — third-worst in Major League Baseball. No specified amount has been noted as of Tuesday, but the expected amount is set to reach $1 billion.

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