Alex Rodriguez’s interest in buying Marlins is chance to one-up Derek Jeter

Could Derek Jeter’s loss in Miami turn into Alex Rodriguez’s gain?

According to folks close to Rodriguez, the slugger, broadcaster, entrepreneur and Minnesota Timberwolves part-owner would be interested in buying his hometown Miami Marlins, if the financially-strapped team does become available.

No one around current owner Bruce Sherman admits he’s considering selling now, but steep losses have many calling to inquire. Sherman is believed to enjoy ownership but he and partners are said to be quite displeased with a balance sheet showing them hemorrhaging money since purchasing the team from Jeffrey Loria for $1.2 billion five years ago. This is giving would-be buyers hope.

One person close to A-Rod said his interest would “depend on price.” A bonus attraction for A-Rod: nephew Joe Dunand was recently called up by Miami. Rodriguez, then partnered with New York businessman Wayne Rothbaum, originally lost out in his try to purchase the Marlins to Sherman and Jeter.

Alex Rodriguez celebrates the Timberwolves' play-in victory over the Clippers.
Alex Rodriguez celebrates the Timberwolves’ play-in victory over the Clippers.
NBAE via Getty Images

A-Rod later finished second in his Mets bid with then-fiancee Jennifer Lopez, surely would relish the chance to succeed where Jeter ultimately did not. Jeter, the Yankees icon/noted A-Rod frenemy, left the team as CEO in March without real explanation. There was scuttlebutt the split was over Jeter’s interest in spending to win (he was bidding on Nick Castellanos) but that doesn’t add up since the Marlins added Jorge Soler and others after Jeter spent $53M on Avisail Garcia – an outlay to match the $100M Castellanos got from Philly.

Others say Sherman and partners were upset financial/fan goals weren’t met (though attendance is up 30 percent from 2019, it’s still 15,000 a game, below original goals). There were also unwise expenditures, such as about $3.5M to remove the Miami-cool Red Grooms homer sculpture from inside the ballpark.

Derek Jeter recently left the Marlins
Derek Jeter recently left the Marlins.
AP

Anyway, Jeter’s absence potentially could open the door for Rodriguez, whose falling out with his former teammate is well known for 20 years. If the Marlins do come up for sale, the bidding may be spirited despite balance sheet woes. While the Marlins’ situation has proved challenging, Miami may be an opportunity: it is fast becoming a finance and tech hotbed. One other interested buyer pegged the value at about a $1.2B purchase price, “if that.”

A-Rod is partnering with businessman Marc Lore in his T-Wolves venture, and victories were up 100 percent (23 to 46) and TV ratings up 50 percent their first year; perhaps they could team up once more. The former A-Rod/J-Lo team tried to win his boyhood favorite team, the Mets, but were outbid by Steve Cohen, who won the Mets for $2.45 billion.

While he no longer has J-Lo’s significant largesse, and he understandably has many skeptics, the baseball savant A-Rod would bring some pluses as a son of the area with charm, connections and enormous popularity (in Miami anyway) who’s bilingual.

Alex Rodriguez with Marc Lore
Alex Rodriguez with Marc Lore.
NBAE via Getty Images

Ultimately, one question might be whether he can get 23 owner votes necessary to win approval, though his continuing prominent broadcast role with ESPN suggests he’s worked his way back into decent graces.

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