Jeffrey Loria the owner of the Miami Marlins is finalizing a deal to sell the Major League Baseball franchise to a group whose members include Derek Jeter the former shortstop with the New York Yankees for a price of $1.2 billion.
The deal was confirmed by a reliable MLB source and will likely be announced over the upcoming days, said the source.
The Miami Herald ran a story first about the agreement between the group that is headed by Bruce Sherman, a venture capitalist in New York and Loria.
Sherman, whose group of investors numbers 16, will be the control person of the group and represent the team at meetings of Major League Baseball, while Jeter, who reportedly is investing approximately $25 million of his money, will run baseball part of the operation.
Jeter, who is 43, retired following 20 seasons with the Yankees. Jeter is now living in Tampa and for many years has talked about owning his own franchise. He has no experience working in the front office of any club.
The Sherman led group, which includes Michael Jordan the former great of the NBA, beat out a contingent that Jorge Mas a Miami businessman led. A third group which, included former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush and was led by Wayne Rothbaum dropped out earlier in the week.
Jordan, who will be just a minority owner, joined the original bid of Jeter’s. The business manager for Jordan, Estee Portnoy, has confirmed that the owner of the NBA Charlotte Hornets remains part of the Jeter investment group.
In 2002, the then Yankees shortstop became the first MLB player to be sponsored by Nike Jumpman brand and still remains under contract.
Jordan increased his stake with the Hornets from holding a minority share to a majority stake in 2010, at which the team at that time was estimated to be worth $275 million. The Hornets are now said to be worth over $780 million.
Loria acquired the Marlins in 2002 from John Henry for just $158 million. He funded his purchase through the sale of the Montreal Expos to MLB for the price of $120 million and covered the remaining $38 million through a loan by MLB.
Miami won the 2003 World Series but has not returned to the postseason since. Loria is becoming more and more unpopular by the day in South Florida after the team moved into its new stadium that was largely financed by the public and fielded players with payrolls amongst the lowest in baseball.