The Shadow League reports that the deal will not be taking place after all. The two were initially rivals in buying the team before deciding to join forces.
ESPN reports that a source close to the negotiations says that Bush, who was to carry the bulk of the financial responsibilities for the move, is no longer interested in purchasing the team and backed out of the sales talk. One of the sources added that part of the reason was that Bush didn’t put up enough money to get a controlling interest, something that he wanted.
The source had to do so under condition of anonymity because the Marlins have yet to issue a formal comment. In fairness, Jeter could still explore a bid with other investors, but without the money behind the move, it appears that the dream of ownership, something that he had had in mind since retiring, will remain a dream for now. Despite this, the sources report that the process was amicable.
“Gov. Bush has great respect for Derek Jeter, and Derek remains a great friend,” one of the people said. “And he’s looking forward to a great rest of the season for the Marlins.”
When the media ran with the story that Jeter and Bush were going to get the team, it also came up that several people were in the running, including some big names in their own right. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred mentioned that Bush’s group’s closest competition was another group led by businessman Tagg Romney, son of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Bush’s group and the Romney group had bid about $1.3 billion each to buy the team from Jeffrey Loria, who bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry. A lack of success since Loria’s purchase, including not having seen the playoffs since 2003, means that many fans are anxiously waiting for a change in ownership, and are likely frustrated that Jeter isn’t the new face behind their team.