Report: Nationals 'Almost Sure' to Be Sold; Expected to Fetch 'At Least' $2B in Sale

Doric SamJune 16, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27:  The Washington Nationals logo on the scoreboard after a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Major changes are reportedly coming to the Washington Nationals organization.

According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the franchise is expected to be sold and will likely carry a hefty price tag.

"Word is the Nats are almost sure to sell," Heyman wrote. "They’re expected to fetch at least $2 billion, but the behind-the scenes goal is $3 billion."

In April, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post reported that the Lerner family was exploring the process of selling the Nationals. Led by real estate developer Ted Lerner, the family purchased the franchise in 2006. Mark Lerner, Ted's son, who is now the team's principal owner, told Svrluga that the family hired investment bank Allen & Co. to identify potential buyers.

"This is an exploratory process, so there is no set timetable or expectation of a specific outcome," Mark Lerner said at the time. "The organization is as committed as ever to their employees, players, fans, sponsors and partners and to putting a competitive product on the field."

It was a sharp change of tune, considering that Mark Lerner once said selling the team was not in the family's future plans.

"We will never sell the Nationals,” he told the Washington Post in 2018, when Ted Lerner transferred principal ownership to him. “That’s what we’ve worked to get all those years. We think we do a pretty good job of it. There’s no intention of this family—certainly while I’m alive and my sisters and brothers-in-law are alive—nobody’s going to sell this team."

The Lerners have presided over an impressive rebuild by Washington that culminated with a World Series title in 2019. However, the Nationals have struggled this season, ranking last in the National League East with a 23-42 record.