Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and an unnamed New York City real estate developer reportedly have a "handshake agreement" concerning the potential sale of the Major League Baseball organization for $1.6 billion.
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Timetable Unclear for Possible Marlins Sale
Thursday, Feb. 9
Mike Ozanian of Forbes reported Thursday there are still hurdles facing a finalized agreement because the developer's assets are locked into real estate and are not currently liquidated. That raises questions about whether MLB would allow a deal involving so much debt.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that while former New York Yankees standouts Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter have expressed interest in ownership and have ties to Florida, neither player is part of the investment group trying to buy the Marlins.
Darren Rovell of ESPN noted Charles Kushner, father-in-law of Ivanka Trump, is among the investors hoping to buy the club.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports provided comments from MLB regarding the report on Kushner:
"Under Major League Baseball rules, the Commissioner's Office must be informed of any conversations about a potential sale. The Commissioner's Office has not heard directly or indirectly of any conversation involving Charles Kushner."
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald noted in December that Loria was "receptive to the possibility of selling" the Marlins, but there was no guarantee an agreement would transpire. Team president David Samson told the outlet he didn't want to address the rumors.
"There's a lot of people who want to own a Major League Baseball team around the country," Samson said. "Over 17 years, you hear from a lot of people. But nothing different than normal."
Loria bought the Marlins from current Boston Red Sox owner John Henry in 2002 for $158 million with help from a $38 million MLB loan, per Murray Chass of the New York Times. He'd previously held a controlling stake in the now-defunct Montreal Expos.
The 76-year-old New York native made part of his fortune as an art dealer and is currently worth an estimated $500 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
He enjoyed initial success with the Marlins, highlighted by winning the World Series in 2003. The franchise hasn't returned to the playoffs since that triumph, however, and Loria has received widespread criticism for his management of the organization.
In 2013, Ira Boudway of Bloomberg wrote an article titled "Why Is the Marlins' Jeffrey Loria the Most Hated Man in Baseball?" after the owner received a publicly financed stadium and then sold off many of the team's top veteran assets.
In 2014, Jeb Lund of Rolling Stone listed Loria at No. 2 on a list of the "15 Worst Owners in Sports."
No further information was provided about the possible sale or a timetable for an official deal. Miami is scheduled to open the season April 3 against the Nationals.