Miami Marlins

Loria, Stanton among “most powerful” figures in MLB

Giancarlo Stanton with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria at the slugger’s signing ceremony in 2014.
Giancarlo Stanton with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria at the slugger’s signing ceremony in 2014. El Nuevo Herald

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria might not be the most beloved figure in South Florida sports. But he’s one of baseball’s most influential figures.

So says a USA Today ranking, which lists Loria as the 28th “most powerful” figure in Major League Baseball. Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton also made the list at No. 91.

Here’s what the publication had to say about Loria:

“Five years after opening a stadium made possible by strong-arming area taxpayers, the Miami Marlins owner is now hard at work on a multi-billion dollar exit strategy: Selling the club. Numerous bidders have reportedly emerged for the club, including names such as Derek Jeter and the Kushner family. Loria had a huge hand in baseball’s exit from Montreal and solidifying the Marlins’ future in South Florida. Now, he’ll hold all the cards in determining who will steer the franchise in the future.”

As for Stanton, USA Today noted his long history of injuries. But his raw power and huge contract are impossible to ignore:

“If only his body would stop betraying him, Stanton would be much higher on this list. The home run remains baseball’s sexiest currency, and in the Statcast era, it is Stanton who clouts the sport’s mightiest shots. Not afraid to expose himself – be it participating in the Home Run Derby or posing in ESPN The Magazine’s Body issue – Stanton also has a $325 million contract. And he can opt out of that contract after the 2020 season.”

As one would expect, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred tops the list.

The Marlins won’t be left out in the cold should Loria sell the team to retired Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who is part of a group looking into buying the club. Jeter is No. 22 in the USA Today rankings.