Yankees: Derek Jeter Ready to Make a Play to Purchase Miami Marlins
Could it be that before Yankees great Derek Jeter is enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020, that he’d already own a piece of the Miami Marlins? It’s very possible.
On Wednesday, Fox Business reported that former Yankees superstar Derek Jeter has expressed a keen interest in bidding for the right to own at least a piece of the Miami Marlins.
Jeter, who is represented by former Morgan Stanley brokerage chief Gregory Fleming, is one of three interested parties. The other named contingent in Fox’s report is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who has partnered with Citi Group.
Although the former Yankees captain made around $265 million in salary alone over the course of his 20-year playing career, and millions more from endorsement deals with the likes of Jordan brand, Gatorade, Ford and others — the 42-year-old entrepreneur will need to build an ownership group with deeper pockets than he, if he hopes to secure financing.
Forbes reported back in February, that Marlins principal owner Jeffrey Loria was close to selling the club to New York real estate developer, Charles Kushner for $1.6 billion. With that deal now all but dead, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly Jeter can scrape together the necessary funds to make a legitimate offer to Loria and company.
Loria, who originally paid $158 million for the organization back in 2002, expects quite the return on his investment — especially now that he has a shiny new stadium for the once fledgling franchise.
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According to the Fox report, those involved in the bidding process expect the eventual price tag for the team to fall somewhere between $800 million and $1.6 billion.
The New York Daily News recently asked Marlins manager Don Mattingly his thoughts on Jeter as an owner. Mattingly, who briefly played with Jeter at the tail end of the 1995 season said:
"Jeter would be a good owner because he “pretty much seems to be good at everything that he tries to do.”“He’s always talked about it, [owning a team]” Mattingly said. “I asked if he wanted to coach, and he’s like, ‘Never.”’"
Should Jeter add another title to his ever-expanding resume, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of Boss (pun intended) he turns out to be. Before his retirement in 2014, Jeter said he learned a lot from the late George Steinbrenner.
Would Jeter be hands on — sign free agent studs without worrying about the luxury tax? Trade away promising young prospects with the hope of winning a championship in the here and now? George did.
The business of the game has changed significantly since the passing of the elder Steinbrenner, but Jeter is cut from a different cloth. He makes an immediate impact in everything he does. Would ownership offer Jeter a more patient approach?
It would be strange to see ol’ No. 2 involved with any MLB team other than the Bombers. Personally, I’ve always hoped the Steinbrenner’s would keep Jeter in-house — offer him even a tiny percentage of ownership because his presence is good for business.
Since this hasn’t happened, you can’t blame the guy for looking elsewhere. Jeter’s prime residence is still in Tampa — and although it’s quite the drive to Miami, the idea of Jeter owning a National League club is a lot easier to swallow than if he ever got in bed with the AL East rival Rays.
Former Yankees teammate Brett Gardner and manager Joe Girardi spoke to NJ Advance Media about what it would be like watching a familiar face in an unfamiliar capacity.
"“I think it would, especially at first,” said Gardner, who played his first seven seasons in the majors with Jeter. “It’s a little different since it wouldn’t be as a player. He never played for another team. But it’s a matter of opportunity and timing.”Manager Joe Girardi, who was Jeter’s skipper for seven years, agreed.“That will be strange,” Girardi said. “Like I said, in my mind, he’ll always be a Yankee. But there is life after baseball and sometimes the opportunity that presents itself isn’t always where you play.”"
Back to my question as to the type of owner Jeter would be. Girardi seems to have an idea.
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"“Oh, I think he would he somewhat involved,” the manager said. “And an owner who played at the level he played at should be a little involved. It’s his money. I don’t know why an owner wouldn’t be somewhat involved.”"
Only time will tell.