The Wayne Rothbaum-Jeb Bush group has dropped out of the bidding for the Miami Marlins, apparently leaving groups led by Miami businessman Jorge Mas and legendary Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter as the final two groups, sources told FanRag Sports.
Marlins people didn’t seem especially worried about the development, as they believe they still have two viable groups in the bidding. Current Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria declined comment.
There is hope a deal can be completed within the next week or two, though that is not a certainty.
The Rothbaum-Bush group always seemed to be bidding below the $1.2 billion asking price, which made it difficult for them. While they were at $1.1 billion at one point, recent word was that they believed $1 billion even was the appropriate bid.
Loria has been aiming to get $1.2 billion for the team. Jeter is bidding that number, but there’s still a big question about whether he has the money (sources suggest he does not have it yet). Mas has bid $1.17 billion with the stipulation he gets an exclusive negotiating window. The Mas group is the best-financed, but Loria and team president David Samson seem to like the idea of Jeter, the Yankees great, as he’s remained in the bidding despite seemingly being underfunded.
However, there remains a question as to whether the Jeter-led group would even be approvable; Major League Baseball prefers the control person in any ownership group put up a significant portion of the sale price. Jeter is said to be contributing only about $25 million.
The Rothbaum-Bush group had suffered a major defection when Tagg Romney dropped out of the group a few weeks ago, as FanRag Sports first reported. Rothbaum was the largest investor, but there seemed to be a question about who the control person would be — him or former Florida Governor and presidential candidate Bush.