It is not too often that Derek Jeter news has anything to do with the Miami Marlins. However, today is that day. Derek Jeter was in Miami and not only met with Marlins owner Jeffery Loria, but he also took a tour of the ballpark, Andy Slater reports. While no official reason for the visit has been given, it is very easy to start connecting a few pieces together. Is Jeter continuing his farewell tour to stadiums he didn’t visit in the 2014 season, or could he be looking to add Minority Owner to his already legendary resume?
Jeter has made it known that he wants to own a baseball team one day. It was reported in June when he was questioned in an interview. Jeter has no interest in becoming a Major League manager, but wants ownership. He also said that he would be meeting with owners after the season ends. It appears that the first stop is Miami for the former Yankee Captain.
Miami makes a lot of sense for Jeter. He has built his mansion in Florida, outside Tampa and he lived there since 2009. It is just under 31,000 square feet, and he clearly has no plans to leave the not so humble abode any time soon.
So why is Jeter not looking at the Tampa Bay Rays? Derek Jeter will always be a Yankee, no matter how long he has been retired. Taking partial ownership in one of the Yankees newest and biggest rivals is just not realistic. He has to look outside the American League East.
The Marlins are one of the lowest valued teams in baseball. Bloomberg has the team ranked 25th in the Majors at $640 million and Forbes has them ranked 27th in the Majors at $500 million. Regardless of which is more accurate, the Marlins are one of the more affordable teams in baseball. For comparison, the Yankees are ranked 1st in both Forbes and Bloomberg, at $2.5 billion and $3.28 billion, respectively.
Even one of the richest players in baseball history cannot afford the Yankees. Jeter earned just over $265 million in his playing career and millions more in endorsements. No matter which team he picks, he will only be a minority owner. However, I think he knows the Yankees will always be a team of the Steinbrenners until a full sale is complete. Being a minority owner with the Steinbrenners probably doesn’t interest him and the Steinbrenners wouldn’t gain very much from it either.
The Marlins are at an exciting time period for the franchise. They’ve given the largest contract in North American sports history to Giancarlo Stanton, and are moving forward in efforts to become a constant contender. Adding Jeter as a minority owner would give credibility to the Loria ownership that it has never had before. Jeter may be seen as a nice guy, but he is a fantastically smart businessman. If he can see past Loria’s prior business moves, there must be some real reason to it.
Again, this is all speculation. I am not reporting that they met to discuss ownership. With the comments Jeter made this summer, the location of his permanent home, and the low price tag of the Marlins, I am simply saying that a minority ownership of the Marlins makes a lot of sense for both sides. Just as The Yankees Dynasty began in Jeter’s first full season in 1996, could the Marlins change their importance in baseball just as Jeter takes a percentage interest in the club? The next few weeks and months may answer that question.