Owner Jeffrey Loria is reportedly putting the Miami Marlins on the block, with word spreading that he is seeking a $1.7 billion return.
Forbes first reported the news on Thursday, citing sources who say that Loria is floating a price tag of $1.7 billion as a potential sale price. The news comes as Marlins Park, the ballpark that opened under Loria’s watch, prepares to host its first All-Star Game next summer.
While that will put the ballpark and the organization in the spotlight, some believe that it is unlikely that the Marlins will fetch the return Loria is believed to be seeking. More from the Miami Herald:
No one, including Forbes, thinks the Marlins will fetch such a high price as they themselves valued the Marlins at $675 million — which ranks 29th out of the 30 major league teams.
Only the Tampa Bay Rays, who are desperate to escape Tropicana Field in St. Pete, are valued less than the Fish.
In 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers sold for $2 billion.
According to Forbes, the Marlins do make a little bit of money even though team president David Samson says the team is “last in the league in revenue.”
Thanks to their $25 million in revenue sharing, the team made a $15 million profit during the 2015 season.
Loria has been in baseball for decades. Before breaking into the major leagues, he purchased the Oklahoma City 89ers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), which he owned from 1989 to 1993. He would later become managing partner of the Montreal Expos, eventually selling the franchise to MLB’s other owners in 2002, facilitating the franchise swap that allowed Loria to take over the then-Florida Marlins while the club’s previous owner, John Henry, purchased the Boston Red Sox.
Loria originally purchased the Marlins for $158 million. It remains to be seen if this signals his interest in selling the club, but it is worth noting that Forbes reports that Loria has not brought in an investment firm to work on a potential sale.