As you’ve probably heard by now Forbes is reporting that Jefferey Loria has a “handshake deal” to sell the Miami Marlins for $1.6 billion dollars. Details are scarce and there is a great deal of questions to be answered, so let’s dive in!
The question on everybody’s mind must be whether this new owner will be an improvement over Loria. As hated as he has been it’s hard to picture anybody not shining by comparison, but until we know the identity of the buyer there really is no way to know for sure.
From the Forbes article, it can be gleaned that the prospective buyer is male, a real estate developer from New York, and that their money is not fluid enough to buy the Marlins without going into significant debt.
A quick search reveals a few potential characters that could fit that description, including current Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, but also Richard LeFrak, Jerry Speyer, Leonard Stern, and Sheldon Solow. By no means should you place a bet on any of those, but it illustrates the fact that there are many names that could potentially be the correct one. Guessing at this point is taking a shot in the dark; we don’t have enough information.
There is also the strong possibility that there isn’t a buyer. Leaking a story like this would be a savvy move by the Loria camp to set the bidding price. A similar story came out back in November that Mitt Romney was looking to purchase the team for $1.7 billion dollars.
There were some differences in that an actual name was attached, and Romney was only supposedly considering buying; no actual handshakes took place. But since the precedent has been set (and I for one suspect that this is the case), Loria is simply leaking a false story to fish for offers.
Whether there is a buyer or not the news is essentially the same. The Loria camp is taking steps towards selling. Chances are we still won’t see any movement until after the All-Star game, but it seems we won’t have to wait much longer to finally be rid of a much-maligned ownership group.