Barry Jackson

Mas meets with MLB Commish, seeks investors in Marlins pursuit

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria (center) and his wife July, chat with Cuban-American billionaire Jorge Mas, one of the bidders to buy the Miami Marlins, during the MLB All-Star game between the National League and the American League on Tues., July 11, 2017, at Marlins Park in Miami.
Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria (center) and his wife July, chat with Cuban-American billionaire Jorge Mas, one of the bidders to buy the Miami Marlins, during the MLB All-Star game between the National League and the American League on Tues., July 11, 2017, at Marlins Park in Miami. pportal@miamiherald.com

Miami businessman Jorge Mas is continuing efforts to buy the Miami Marlins and met with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred last week in hopes of accomplishing that, according to a league source.

A day later, Manfred met with one of the other bidders - Wayne Rothbaum and Jeb Bush, as we reported on Tuesday.

Mas, who had been studying the Marlins’ financial records, last week briefly re-evalatuated whether he wanted to continue pursuing the team because 1) he was frustrated that the Marlins would not grant him an exclusive negotiating window and 2) because he believes the team is not worth the $1.2 billion that owner Jeffrey Loria is seeking.

But Mas, at least for now, is pursuing a purchase. Though he hasn’t made a formal offer, he has been trying to put together a group of investors in recent days. There was never any expectation that Mas would finance his entire bid.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said three groups remain in contention for the Marlins - groups led by Derek Jeter, Rothbaum and Mas.

A New York based source has said the Marlins do not expect Mas to end up with the team, but the Mas camp remains hopeful and believe that Manfred - while not playing favorites - would embrace Mas ownership because MLB likes ownership groups with a local presence. Mas believes Manfred will have influence in who ends up with the team, though it’s ultimately Loria’s decision.

The Mas group also believes that Loria would be open to a Mas bid, though Rothbaum and Jeter are further along in the process because they started sooner. And Jeter, still short of the money needed to meet the asking price, has been considered Loria’s personal preference, according to a member of the Rothbaum group.

Nevertheless, the Rothbaum group also has expressed confidence to associates that it can close a deal.

Neither of the other primary bidders are Miami-based. Rothbaum has homes in New York and Delray Beach, while Jeter is based in Tampa. Bush, who has a modest financial stake in Rothbaum’s bid, has a Miami residence.

The Marlins and Manfred have said the team will be sold but haven’t offered a timetable.

Meanwhile, The New York Post, quoting sources, reported that “some of the bidders are hoping they might be able to reduce Marlins losses by forming Miami’s first regional sports network and teaming with the Dolphins.”

But a Dolphins official with direct knowledge said the Dolphins have never been approached with that idea by any of the people trying to buy the Marlins.

And the Marlins’ regional cable deal with Fox Sports, which pays them less than any other big-league team, runs through 2020.

Here’s a Miami Herald piece from earlier this week on how Mas made his money.

MARLINS RECORD

Here are a few notes directly from the Elias Sports Bureau on the Marlins’ 22-10 win at Texas on Wednesday night, which set a Marlins franchise record for runs scored in a game:

• “The 22 runs were second-most runs ever scored in an interleague game; the Marlins lost, 25-8, in Boston on June 27, 2003.

• The total of 32 runs was the most runs scored in any game since Aug. 15, 2015, when the Red Sox topped the Mariners, 22-10. That was the only other game in the last nine seasons (since 2009) with 32-or-more runs.

• All nine players in the Marlins’ starting batting order had hits and RBIs in the game; only two other teams in the last five seasons (since 2013) have had games like that: the A’s in beating the Twins, 18-3, on Sept. 11, 2013, and the Nationals on June 2 of this season in a 13-3 win in Oakland. It was the first Marlins game like that in franchise history.

• The Marlins 2-3-4-5-6 batters all scored at least three runs. Only two other teams since 1900 have done that in a game: the Pirates against the Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves) in a 19-1 win on June 11, 1904, and the Red Sox in a 29-4 win over the St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles) on June 8, 1950.

Hall of Famers Fred Clarke and Honus Wagner were the Pirates’ 3-4 batters in that 1904 game, while Ted Williams batted third for the Red Sox in the 1950 game.

• Giancarlo Stanton hit his 33rd home run of the season, surpassing Aaron Judge for the major-league lead. It’s the first time that Judge hasn’t had at least a share of the major-league home-run lead since he hit his 16th home run of the season, tying Mike Trout for the big-league lead, on May 28.”

Here’s my post with some Jarvis Landry news on the first day of training camp.

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