The breaking news reported Friday afternoon — that Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has agreed to sell the team to an ownership group led by businessman Bruce Sherman and former New York Yankees great Derek Jeter — is sure to excite a multitude of baseball fans here in South Florida.
But just how much of a difference can the future-Hall of Fame shortstop make from the owner’s box?
And will Jeter’s involvement make you more likely to care about the Marlins than you do now?
The big-league Miami Marlins are plodding along with Major League Baseball’s second-lowest winning percentage, and the minor-league outfits are woefully short on prospects.
Add in their seemingly inevitable ownership change, and this franchise looks ripe for some cage-rattling trades. But who goes?
Marcell Ozuna is a logical candidate, according to Fox Sports, which ranks him sixth among the best baseball players who could be traded this summer.
“The Marlins are in free fall, and with a depleted farm system (perhaps the worst in baseball) they should highly consider making major moves to start a rebuild,” Dieter Kurtenbach wrote. “Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is too big to move, but Ozuna, who was sent to the minors in 2015 but was an All-Star last year and is playing even better this season, isn’t [too expensive] and that means he could be the big piece the Marlins move in an effort to reboot.”
Ozuna has been one of Miami’s few bright spots. The 26-year-old leads the club with 29 RBIs, shares the home run lead with Stanton at 11 and sits second among the starters with a .302 batting average.
Ozuna will not reach free agency until 2019 and seems highly unlikely to sign an extension any time before then as a Scott Boras client. While that allows the Marlins some time to figure things out, they may want to move on this sooner than later if they don’t think they’ll re-sign him. His price tag will only drop the closer he gets to the open market.
The bright, bold colors that define both the Marlins look and Miami’s atmosphere as a whole will be fully embraced during the city’s (and state’s) first MLB All-Star Game this summer.
The league shared a number of holiday and special-event uniforms with Yahoo Sports, including teal and orange threads for the Home Run Derby, Futures Game and All-Star workout day which look like they came right out of the Marlins’ design book.
Despite the popping color of the jerseys, they actually aren’t the first or second things you’ll notice with the uniforms.
There are special socks — for these uniforms and all holiday apparel — designed by Stance, MLB’s sock partner. The only way these would feel more South Florida-ish is if Udonis Haslem wore them around South Beach with a Dan Marino jersey, a Marlins hat and Heat shorts.
They have a vibrant pattern of flowers, leaves and fish featuring red, yellow, orange and blue that may not work anywhere else, but feels right at home here.
The caps stand out for a different reason. Their look seems pretty tame — save for that same floral design inside of the brim — with a black base and orange logo. But the design sounds perfect for the heat and humidity of summer.
“Caps will be … made of a ‘Honeycomb open-hole mesh’ crown,” Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.net reported. “I tried one on, they’re quite light and very breathable.”
All-Star Week opens with FanFest at the Miami Beach Convention Center starting July 7. The All-Star Game will be played Tuesday, July 11, at Marlins Park.
Former New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter has emerged as one of three potential bidders for the Miami Marlins, sources told the Fox Business Network.
Jeter, who capped his playing career in 2014 and is expecting his first child with wife Hannah Davis, is being represented by veteran Wall Street executive and former Morgan Stanley brokerage chief Gregory Fleming.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has teamed with CitiGroup to finance another potential bid. A third group is led by a number of businessmen from Goldman Sachs, which has a business partnership with the Yankees.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has expressed interest in selling since late last year. There is no timetable in this process, but people with knowledge of the talks told Fox Business a deal could be completed by May and might fetch a price of between $800 million to $1.6 billion. Loria bought the team in 2002 for $158 million.
“From what I understand, whoever has the most cash will get the deal,” one senior baseball executive told Fox Business. “And who knows what the Marlins might do in the end if they don’t get the number they want?”
Jeter will be on the Hall of Fame ballot in a few years and should be a first-ballot lock. He left the game sixth on the all-time hit list (3,465) and helped lead the Yankees to five World Series titles.
He made more than $265 million in his career and previously expressed interest in baseball ownership.
“That’s the next goal,” he said in 2014. “Calling the shots, not answering to someone, that’s what interests me.
“I’d probably be a little bit more behind the scenes than The Boss [late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner]. But I learned a lot of great things from him.”
No, not with the Marlins or even in the coaching ranks. But the 52-year-old home run king is rejoining the San Francisco Giants as a special adviser to the CEO.
He will participate in various community and organizational events. He’ll share hitting tips with minor leaguers. He’ll be himself, not to mention be a member of the franchise for which he played 15 seasons, made 12 All-Star appearances, won five MVP awards and slugged 586 of 762 career home runs.
“I am excited to be back home with the Giants and join the team in an official capacity,” Bonds said in a team release. “San Francisco has always been my home, and the Giants will always be my family. I look forward to spending time with the team, young players in the system as well as the Bay Area community.”
Bonds spent the 2016 season as the Marlins hitting coach. Miami had the fourth-highest team batting average in the majors (.263), but finished just 27th in runs scored (655), 28th in RBI (626) and 29th in home runs (128). All four categories actually improved from 2015, but Bonds was still relieved of his duties in October.
Jose Fernandez, the ace right-hander for the Miami Marlins who escaped Cuba to become one of baseball’s brightest stars, was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. Fernandez was 24.
Authorities said Fernandez was one of three people killed in a crash off Miami Beach.
Chief Petty Officer Nyxolyno Cangemi told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard patrol boat spotted an overturned boat at 3:30 a.m. on a jetty near Government Cut. The bodies were discovered a short time later.
In the statement, the Marlins say they are “devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”
“Hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion,” Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price said on Twitter early Sunday.
Because the boat was on a jetty, the Coast Guard notified Miami-Dade police, which turned the investigation over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Fernandez was on a 32-foot vessel that had a “severe impact” with a jetty, said FWC’s Lorenzo Veloz. The overturned boat remained in the water Sunday morning, its engine partially submerged as its nose pointed skyward, as debris from the crash was scattered over some of the large jagged rocks.
The Marlins’ game Sunday at home against the Atlanta Braves has been canceled. The Braves, along with several other teams, quickly shared their condolences with the Marlins.
Major League Baseball released a statement saying it was “stunned and devastated.”
“He was one of our game’s great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life.”
Fernandez’s death immediately brought memories of past baseball tragedies, such as the deaths of Thurman Munson and Roberto Clemente — stars who died in plane crashes in the 1970s.
Cleveland teammates Steve Olin and Tim Crews were killed in a boating accident in 1993, and the game also reeled from the sudden deaths of major leaguers Darryl Kile, Lyman Bostock and Cory Lidle in recent years.
“Jose was a remarkable young man and a tremendously gifted athlete, who, at just 24, established himself as one of the game’s biggest and brightest stars,” said Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jose’s family, friends, teammates, Miami Marlins organization and legions of fans in the United States and Latin America.”
The Miami Dolphins said they would have a moment of silence before their game in nearby Miami Gardens on Sunday afternoon to remember Fernandez.
City of Miami Fire-Rescue workers were seen carrying bodies, draped and on stretchers, at the Coast Guard station after sunrise Sunday. The names of the other two individuals are being withheld pending notification of relatives, the Coast Guard said.
Fernandez was a two-time All-Star who went 38-17 in his four seasons with the Marlins, winning the NL’s Rookie of the Year award in 2013. The native of Santa Clara, Cuba became a U.S. citizen last year and was enormously popular in Miami.
He tried to defect from Cuba at least three times — landing in jail after one of those unsuccessful tries — before eventually getting to the U.S. and going to high school in Tampa, Florida. The Marlins drafted him in 2011 and Fernandez was in the majors two years later.
“I’m still in shock,” former Marlins player Gaby Sanchez said on Twitter. “The world has lost a remarkable person. You will be missed and my heart goes out to the Fernandez family.”
With slugger Giancarlo Stanton likely out for the season with a groin injury, Miami Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said the team is considering all possible replacements, including Rodriguez, who is a Miami native.
“I think we’re going through that process right now,” Hill told MLB.com. “We’re putting our list together of options. [Rodriguez] is available, so he will be on that list. We’ll see where that goes.”
Rumors grew Monday as ESPN’s Jim Bowden reported A-Rod to the Marlins was “going to happen.”
Rodriguez played DH for nearly all of his last two seasons with the Yankees, so with the Marlins, he would likely come off the bench or play first base. The three-time MVP and 14-time All Star has 696 career home runs, which is fourth on the all-time list. He hit .200 with nine home runs and a .598 on-base plus slugging percentage this season.
.@JimBowden_ESPN: ARod to the #Marlins is going to happen, has to clear waivers Monday but it's going to happen. Play 1B
Zika virus concerns have forced the Pirates-Marlins series out of Puerto Rico, with baseball saying the two games will instead be played this month in Miami.
Major League Baseball and the players’ union made the announcement Friday. Pittsburgh and Miami will meet May 30-31 at Marlins Park.
The union had asked Commissioner Rob Manfred to relocate the games after several players expressed fears about getting and possibly transmitting the Zika virus.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said Zika can cause a birth defect called microcephaly, where infants are born with unusually small heads. The virus is most often spread by mosquito bites, but it also can be spread through sexual intercourse.
The CDC had spoken to players and staff from the Pirates and Marlins about the potential risks.
Pittsburgh and the Marlins were originally scheduled to play the series in Miami when the original draft of the schedule was made last year. On Nov. 19, MLB said the games would be played in Puerto Rico, the homeland of Pirates Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente and many other big leaguers.
MLB has played several regular-season games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan in the past.