Jeffrey Loria has agreed to sell the Miami Marlins to a group led by businessman Bruce Sherman and headlined by Derek Jeter, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. The final selling price will be $1.2 billion.
According to Jackson, Sherman will serve as the “managing partner” of the team while Jeter will run the club’s baseball operations. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports Jeter will serve as Chief Executive Officer.
Drama over the sale has carried on for months, and in February there was a rumor of a “handshake agreement” on a $1.6 billion sale. Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that a group led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush had dropped out of the negotiations, leaving only the Jeter-Sherman group.
A total of 16 investors put money into this apparently successful bid. Jeter himself put down $25 million, according to Jackson.
Loria has been a very controversial figure in his two decades in baseball. In the late 1990s, Loria gained control of a Montreal Expos franchise that was hemorrhaging money. In 2002, Major League Baseball’s 29 other owners agreed to buy the club, which later became the Washington Nationals, for $120 million. As a part of the deal, Loria turned around and bought the Marlins for $158.5 million.
In Miami, Loria became notorious for routinely low payrolls and constant selloffs of young, talented players. A 12-player trade with the Toronto Blue Jays in which the Marlins dumped tens of millions in salary was especially controversial, drawing allegations that Loria didn’t care if the team was successful.
Loria also encountered controversy with the deal to build Marlins Park, which opened in 2012. More than 80 percent of the financing was covered by the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County. The deal even sparked an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Despite it all, Loria will emerge having flipped the franchise for a cool $1 billion profit.
Final approval the sale must be given by the league’s 29 other owners, who are expected to vote on it in the coming weeks.