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Manfred: Sherman/Jeter Group Meeting MLB Guidelines on Marlins Purchase

Miami MarlinsThe group led by businessman Bruce Sherman and former Yankee great Derek Jeter conforms to MLB’s debt guidelines at first glance, according to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, as the approval process moves along, 

The $1.2 billion bid for the Miami Marlins is moving through the approval process, and the determination that it meets debt guidelines is only a preliminary finding. (And it may change, but only for the better, as the group is apparently seeking more passive investors.) MLB has not been consistent about making new ownership groups conform to debt guidelines in the past, but in this case the rules apparently are being enforced. There are more than a dozen members in the Sherman group (including NBA Hall of Fame Michael Jordan), and there could be more in the future. But it took a $400 million commitment from Sherman to clinch a purchase of the Fish. From the Miami Herald:

“We’re now going to begin our approval process and the interview with Mr. Sherman yesterday was the beginning of that process,” Manfred said. “There are other issues in the approval process that need to be completed.”

Manfred said those include a review of new ownership’s operating plans, compliance with the league’s debt service rule, and “normal background checks that have to be done on all of the equity investors — just our standard process.”

While Manfred said Sherman informed him that Jeter “would run the club on a day-to-day basis,” it was unclear whether the former Yankees star would live in Miami on a permanent basis to operate the club.

The deal could be closed as early as September, with approval coming from MLB owners shortly afterwards. It looks as though Sherman and Jeter will start with a clean slate, as David Samson reportedly not return as team president. Not really a surprise: as the public face of the Jeffrey Loria regime, replacing Samson would be a very visible way of showing fans that a new sheriff is in town.

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