Derek Jeter as owner of the Miami Marlins is getting closer to becoming a reality.
The former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter and future Hall of Famer is “gaining steam” in his bid to buy the franchise, according to a Miami Herald report. The report notes that Jeter’s group is making progress in assembling the financing needed, but warns that they’re still facing stiff competition from Miami businessman Jorge Mas.
There were reports during All-Star week that Mas had reached an agreement to buy the Marlins. Those flames were fanned a bit more when Mas was spotted enjoying the festivities in the owner’s box with current owner Jeffrey Loria.
It turns out those reports were false, or at least premature. Wednesday’s Miami Herald report indicates the race is tightening up now that the group led by Wayne Rothbaum and Jeb Bush has reportedly exited the race, leaving the Jeter and Mas groups as the only remaining bidders.
The reason for Rothbaum’s decision to stop his pursuit of the team was not immediately clear, but an associate indicated he grew impatient with the process after bidding $1.17 billion for the team.
His remaining investors — including Bush and Shoney’s CEO David Davidpour — could not go on without him because Rothbaum was the primary money man. Another of their partners, Massachusetts businessman Tagg Romney, previously left their group.
This should serve as the final nail in any hopes Bush had to buy the Marlins. Originally he was a big part of Jeter’s group, but dropped out in May once it became clear that Jeter intended to oversee both the baseball and the business side of the operations.
It seemed then that Jeter’s desire for full control might complicate his own bid, but he’s reportedly managed to continue adding investors to his group. The Miami Herald reports that investors added in just the past few days have gone a long way in increasing optimism among Jeter’s group and on the Marlins side that they’ll be able to come up with the necessary funding.
Jeter’s group is not all the way there though. Otherwise this would likely be a done deal. At this point there’s no indication as to when a resolution is expected, and until it’s completed there’s a chance for this pendulum to swing several more times.
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