The most interesting scenario for Miami Marlins ownership is apparently going to be realized, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that the group headlined by Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush has won the auction to purchase the team.
Here's where it gets fun:
That... is a lot of money.
For reference: the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clippers were both sold for $2 billion. A little bit closer to home, the Dolphins sold for $1.1 billion in 2008. Staying in the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills also went for $1.1 billion in 2014 (Lake Erie is evidently not quite the draw that Miami Beach is).
Franchise values are going up, however. Both Los Angeles purchases came in the last five years, while the Browns ($1.05 billion) and Jaguars ($770 million) each cracked the top three of all-time NFL purchases when they were sold in 2012. Forbes estimated the Marlins' value at $940 million, so while this is certainly a bit of sticker shock, it's not that off-base given the team's location and a ballpark that only turned five years old this year.
Per Jackson, Bush will be the point man, which makes sense: His brother, George W., once owned the Texas Rangers and Jeets is a publishing magnate, after all. But Jeter, who also lives in Florida, "plans an active role," which is vague enough that we can all dream of him realizing the destiny everyone once projected for old infield-mate Alex Rodriguez: Player-manager of the Miami Marlins.
Now, because we can't have nice things, I'm obligated to report that this sale represents a hilarious bit of profit for the odious Jeffrey Loria, who bought the team for a scant $158 million back in 2002. But block that out for now. The Marlins have new, genuinely compelling ownership and a franchise that counts Luis Castillo fourth among its career WAR leaders won't be stewarded by cheap grifters for the first time in forever. Yeah Jeets! Yeah!
Update: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Jeb/Jeets team is still rounding up financing for the deal, and were making calls to potential investors as recently as yesterday. The Journal also says the two would be minority owners, but the public faces of the group.
Update 6:30 p.m.: Rob Manfred says nothing is official yet, but an announcement will be made as soon as the league knows which bid has been accepted.