SBD/Closing Bell

Rob Manfred: Marlins Sale Has Financing In Place To Go Through

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred today said the proposed $1.2B sale of the Marlins to a group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter indeed has the necessary financing in place. Manfred’s comments, coming at the end of the quarterly owners meeting in Chicago, echoed those made yesterday by Marlins President David Samson. The commissioner added the bidding group might still seek out additional partners. Manfred declined to handicap the chances of the Marlins’ bid ultimately receiving the necessary 75% owner vote for passage. He said there are “other issues in the approval process that need to be completed,” including elements around club operations, debt service compliance and background checks of each of the individual partners.

If approved, Sherman would be the Marlins’ designated control exec, while Jeter would run the club’s day-to-day operations. Manfred did say he believes Miami remains a viable major league market, despite ongoing and significant fiscal losses and poor attendance. “We think Miami is a market where Major League Baseball can be successful,” he said. “We are 100% committed to that idea.”

Meanwhile, MLB is very likely to introduce meaningful shifts in '18 to pace-of-play rules. MLB and the MLBPA have been in ongoing negotiations around proposed ideas such as a pitch clock and limits on mound visits, and Manfred described the talks as “positive,” though he declined to go into further detail. “I remain confident that we will have changes for next year on the issue of pace of play that will be significant,” he said. Manfred does have the ability to make some shifts in area unilaterally after this season, but he again said he prefers to make a deal with the union if possible.
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