Prospective new Marlins owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter met with 14 team executives on Tuesday and Wednesday at Marlins Park, and one Marlins official who attended one of those meetings said they were respectful, engaged and asked a lot of questions.
Sherman and Jeter did not tell the executives whether they would keep their jobs or their plans for the organization, including a targeted payroll number, according to multiple sources.
Nor did the Tampa-based Jeter disclose how often he planned to work out of the Marlins’ Miami offices.
Sherman and Jeter met with the Marlins’ department heads, who were asked to provide an oral and written presentation with a overview of what their departments do and their staffing in those departments. Those executives cycled in and out of a Marlins Park board room where all the meetings were held.
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Some of the 14 department heads met with the prospective new owners in groups of two.
According to a source, Sherman and Jeter were accompanied in the meetings by a consultant and a Sherman employee who was involved in contract negotiations to buy the team.
Sherman and Jeter appeared “happy to be there,” said one Marlins official who met with them. “They were very receptive, appreciative and engaged. They had a lot of questions. Jeter was very humble and respectful. They were extremely positive.”
Sherman will be the group’s “control person,” similar to a managing general partner, but Jeter will run the baseball side. The owners plan to hire a chief executive officer to run the business side of the organization.
Sherman didn’t specify his planned level of involvement “but I got the sense he’s going to be at games but not active in management,” the Marlins official said.
Meanwhile, Jeter will meet with MLB’s ownership committee next week, a source involved in the sale confirmed. That was first reported Wednesday night by FanRag’s Jon Heyman.
Jeter is expected to tell the owners his plans to operate the team and answer their questions. The committee is headed by Pirates owner Bob Nutting.
Sherman, who is believed to be contributing about $400 million of the $1.2 billion sales price, previously met with MLB owners during meetings in Chicago last month.
A Marlins official said MLB hopes the sale is approved before the start of the playoffs in early October. The sale would require the approval of three-quarters of MLB owners.
Jeter and Sherman have told prospective investors that they plan to reduce payroll from the current $115 million, the highest in franchise history, in an effort to reduce losses, which are expected to exceed $50 million this season.
One investor who has been involved with the Jeter group said they have spoken of reducing the payroll to potentially the $80 million to $85 million range, if not lower.
But that might be difficult to accomplish. Already, the team has $52.5 million in 2018 salary committed to players who will be impossible to trade – in the case of Edinson Volquez ($13 million) and Wei Yin-Chen ($10 million) – or difficult to trade (Martin Prado at $13.5 million, Brad Ziegler at $9 million or Junichi Tazawa at $7 million).
• One quick minor league update: Outfielder Braxton Lee, acquired in the Adeinny Hechavarria trade from Tampa Bay, won the Southern League batting title (.309), though he has limited power (three homers, 37 RBI in 126 games at Double A this year).
Here’s my Thursday post with Dolphins notes, including one former executive discussing what the Dolphins could get in the unlikely event that they trade Ryan Tannehill.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz