SBD/September 14, 2017/Franchises

Tigers Owner Chris Ilitch Says Team Not Up For Sale After Recent Roster Overhaul

Over the last month, the team shed some major salaries and potential liabilities
Tigers Owner Chris Ilitch said that the team is "not for sale," according to a front-page piece by Daniel Howes of the DETROIT NEWS. Ilitch: "I am committed and we are committed to long-term Ilitch family ownership of the Detroit Tigers." Ilitch, the son of late Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch, dismissed "pointed public speculation that dismantling a perennial contender ... is a precursor to peddling the team." The Tigers in the last month have traded P Justin Verlander and OF Justin Upton, and Ilitch said, "My father would have done the exact same thing that we are doing. ... The approach that they’re taking right now is exactly the approach that he followed." Ilitch's comments closely echo his father's promise before his death in February that Ilitch Holdings' "myriad collection of assets" would "remain '100 percent' controlled by the family." Howes writes Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert has "long been rumored to covet owning the Tigers" (DETROIT NEWS, 9/14). Financial media outlet's Joel Elconin wrote, "I'm sticking my neck out with this prediction: The Ilitch family is going to sell the Detroit Tigers." The front office's actions this summer "closely resemble the repair of a home before it's put up for sale." Over the last month, the team "shed some major salaries and potential liabilities." The Ilitch family may also "have to pay an inheritance tax on its assets" in '17. If the family "doesn't have the ample cash, or doesn't want to part with it," one way the Ilitch's can "generate cash without tax on the gains" is by selling the Tigers (, 9/13).
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