According to a report by Forbes, Jeffrey Loria, owner of the Miami Marlins, has a “handshake agreement” to sell the club for an incredible $1.6 billion. Heading into the off-season, Loria reportedly wanted to sell the club for $1.7 billion.
In 2002, Loria bought the then-Florida Marlins for $158 million and watched the team win the 2003 World Series against the New York Yankees. Since then, the club re-branded and became the Miami Marlins. The team built Marlins Park in 2012 at a price tag of $639 million and has resided there ever since.
However, the extensive price tag of the new park, which was paid for by taxpayers, seems to have caught up with the club. To make things worse, the team has been one of the worst teams in the league since debuting in Marlins Park in 2012 with a record of 358-451. Crowds are very scarce in Miami as well, as in 2016, the team had the lowest average attendance in the National League, which was 21,405.
The reported buyer appears to be a real estate developer who is based in New York, but the buyer is not liquid according to sources, as the net worth is tied up in real estate and does not have the cash, meaning he would have to take on more debt.
If the sale does go through, it would be relief for many fans, as Jeffrey Loria has been one of the worst owners in recent years. His antics have left the team quite talented, but it has left the farm system in shambles. The new owner will have a lot to get done.