That became official Monday when he finalized his $1.2 billion sale of the team to an investment group led by new principal owner Bruce Sherman and CEO Derek Jeter, the deal closing as anticipated a day after the Marlins’ season ended.
The team will hold a news conference to introduce the new bosses at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Marlins Park, which Fox Sports Florida will carry live.
That will be the first step in what is shaping up to be a transformational offseason for the Marlins, whose new owners face a critical decision: to rebuild or not to rebuild?
Giancarlo Stanton — who is due $295 million over the next decade — said he does not want to endure more years of losing in an attempt to build a sustainable winning team in Miami. But on Sunday, he was looking forward to meeting with Jeter & Co.
“I want to see what they’ve got, see what the plan is and we’ll brainstorm from there,” said Stanton, who has a no-trade clause.
In the final days of their season, the Marlins players expected many of them to be traded this winter, creating for a more emotional finale than normal, particularly for the long-timers.
“This will be, I’m sure, a different, busy offseason,” manager Don Mattingly said. “We’re going to see the direction we want to go.”
The closing of the sale was the final step in a process that consumed the club’s 2017 season, with plenty of fits and starts from before spring training through most of the summer. Loria, 76, agreed to a deal with the Sherman/Jeter group in mid-August, and it was approved by MLB last week.
Sherman, who contributed a reported $400 million, is a 69-year-old retired money manager from Naples. Jeter, 43, is expected to largely run the Marlins’ day-to-day operations as chief executive. He is a former star for the New York Yankees, winning five World Series and earning 14 All-Star selections in his 20-year career as their shortstop, but has minimal business experience.
Jeter, Sherman and several minority owners watched the Marlins’ loss Sunday from a luxury suite at Marlins Park.
Loria bought the Marlins in 2002 for $158.5 million, and over the course of 16 seasons he won a World Series, became unpopular throughout South Florida and the baseball community for regularly trading away the team’s stars and keeping payroll low, and orchestrated the creation of the taxpayer-funded Marlins Park.
The Loria era ended with eight consecutive losing seasons, including a 77-85 mark this year, and 14 consecutive seasons without making the playoffs.
Also Monday, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Loria donated his collection of about 900 bobbleheads to the museum in Cooperstown, where they will be permanently displayed.
“Although my ownership is in the past, my love of baseball is not,” Loria said in a statement when his fellow owners unanimously approved the sale. “As an avid fan, I’ll be eagerly watching from the sidelines.”
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