Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that he is convinced the Marlins will be sold and groups led by Derek Jeter or Tagg Romney remain the likely buyer.
“There is an amazing amount of interest actually,” Manfred told Craig Mish and Jim Bowden in an interview on Sirius XM Radio. “People kind of focused on the Jeter group and Romney group. There are other interested buyers out there. There is by no means just those two. They are the furthest along. They’ve made robust offers, both of them. I remain of the view that one of them is probably the most likely to end up as the new owner of the team. Even if it’s not one of those two, I am convinced the Marlins are going to sell.”
Would baseball like to find a way to get Jeter involved?
“I am a huge fan of Derek, professionally and personally,” Manfred said. “He went to Cuba with us at the beginning of last season. Was a great ambassador for the game. Him being involved with a club would be an asset. [But] what we really want, what we really want, is the most stable, well financed group to take over the Marlins, so that baseball in South Florida can be a success to the fans.”
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Manfred was asked if the Marlins would need to get permission from MLB if they decide to shed salary before the July 31 trade deadline.
“I am hoping we get some clarity well before the trading deadline,” he said. “I have no reason to believe the Marlins are going to be quote unquote sellers in the players market at this point. It would be best for all concerned if we got to point where we know who the new owner would be before that happens so they have some input in that process.”
Manfred’s comments came two hours before Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino tweeted that the Marlins’ prospective “buyers fall 100s of millions short of $1.3b price. Others interested at lower price.”
Groups led by Jeter and Romney have told the Marlins throughout the process that they have the money to complete the deal but have not needed to provide definitive proof yet. The Marlins have been negotiating purchase agreements with both.
According to a source, both groups are in fact still trying to firm up investor commitments that would get them to the $1.3 billion; whether they get there remains to be seen.
This is the second in a bunch of blogs today. Here’s some UM personnel notes, including a notable roster departure today.