MLB Rumors: Derek Jeter, Jeb Bush Joining Forces to Purchase Miami Marlins
Former New York Yankees superstar shortstop Derek Jeter and former Florida governor Jeb Bush were initially reported to be competing to purchase the Miami Marlins. After the dust settled, it was revealed that the two are actually joining forces to buy the franchise from current owner Jeffrey Loria.
Loria purchased the Marlins for $158 million in 2002. Sources said Loria can fetch a significant price between $800 million up to $1.6 billion for the Marlins, given the scarcity of value of MLB teams.
Fox Business initially reported that Jeter was being represented in talks by veteran Wall Street executive and former Morgan Stanley brokerage chief Gregory Fleming. The report also mentioned that Bush was teaming up with Citigroup to finance a possible official bid.
To strengthen their chance of acquiring the Marlins, the Miami Herald reported that the 42-year-old Jeter and Bush decided to join forces last week. The 64-year-old Bush unsuccessfully tried to purchase the Marlins in 2013.
The two will go up against new suitor Wayne Rothbaum, a New York biotech investor who heads Quogue Capital. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is also interested in buying the Marlins if Loria would drop his asking price. Another investment group tied to former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is also pursuing the Marlins.
If Jeter and Bush succeed in buying the Marlins, the former shortstop will be reunited with his former Yankees manager Don Mattingly. Mattingly managed the Yankees and Jeter from 2004 to 2007. Jeter, for his part, retired in 2014 after a 20-year playing career with the Yankees.
In an earlier interview, Mattingly told the Sun Sentinel that he was not surprised when Jeter was reported to be interested in buying the Marlins. "He's always talked about it," Mattingly said. "I asked him if he wanted to coach and he's like, 'Never.'"
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