Pony up $1.7 billion dollars and you could own yourself the Miami Marlins. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald recently reported that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria placed that tag on a potential sale of the team. Loria has rejected several offers over the last few months, and we reported that he had no interest in selling the team at the beginning of this year.
New: To build off Forbes report, I've been told Loria is now willing to consider offers to sell Marlins. Details: https://t.co/Xn0mhndZCW— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 16, 2016
This is not necessarily an indication that Loria is likely to sell the team, or even wants to. Furthering this idea is the fact that he has not hired a firm to help negotiate the sale, never mind that his asking price is more than 2.5 times the current value of the team -- $675 million. In fact, the $1.7 billion price tag could’ve theoretically bought all but five teams this past year, going by estimated franchise value.
Mitt Romney’s Solamere Capital investment firm and Venezuelan business tycoon Gustavo Cisneros have inquired about the purchase of the team in the past year or so, but nothing has come to fruition. Both of their offers are said to have been significantly less than Loria’s current asking price. Prior to them, Heat owner Micky Arison showed interest in 2014, and a group led by Jeb Bush, and possibly also involving Cisneros, were rumored to have made an offer in 2013.
Nevertheless, this news is remarkable because it is the first time we have seen Loria demonstrate an actual willingness to sell the Marlins, although Jackson does cite a source saying Loria quoted a lower figure to a potential buyer earlier this year. Perhaps Loria has been mulling a sale longer than previously thought.
Maybe the above-mentioned suitors will begin inquiring again shortly. Jackson also mentioned that Loria had spoken to an employee about selling the team after the Marlins host the 2017 All-Star Game next July. It is certainly a situation worth monitoring for Miami Marlins fans in the coming year.