Jeffery Loria purchases the Louvre, trades Mona Lisa

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Marlins are one of the leagues notoriously cash-strapped ball clubs. John Henry bolted to buy the Red Sox, is Jeffery Loria’s turnaround the greater deception?

For years, the Miami Marlins have trumpeted the horn of financial instability. Owner Jeffery Loria famously, callously pocketed money from Marlins fans while putting a sub-par ball club on the field. As a result of living out the plot of The Producers, Marlins fans grew to despise Loria.

He’s stayed with the script the entire time, though: The Marlins don’t have the financial security to compete with the bigger markets. That’s why the news on Tuesday morning came as a shock to both the baseball world, and the art world.

Miami Marlins owner Jeffery Loria has purchased The Louvre Museum. His first order of business? Trading away long-time museum cornerstone, The Mona Lisa.

It comes as a shock to Italian Reniassance fans. Loria is said to have received a number of up-and-coming paintings in return, but that has done little to quell the outrage. Most were unaware that the famed museum was even up for sale.

A spokeswoman with knowledge of the sale had this to say:

"“France had been quietly shopping the ‘The Louvre’ for a number of months,” the spokeswoman said. “Mr. Loria, as a premier art dealer and noted home-run sculpture savant was the ideal candidate for the sale.”"

Many patrons of the museum have stated that they won’t return until Loria sells. As Miami Marlins fans know all too well, they might be waiting a while.

Loria holds out

Loria is asking for a record $1.3 billion for the sale of the Miami Marlins. As time continues, it appears less and less likely that he’ll be able to cash in on that number. He purchased the club for $158 million in 2002.

The sale of the team has turned into something of a soap opera. With a revolving cast of players, Marlins fans can only bide their time until a sale is executed. Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is optimistic that a transaction can be completed in principle by the trade deadline.

The stability of the Miami Marlins roster hinges largely on the sale of the team. While Loria was able to trade the enigmatic smile of Leonardo’s most recognizable work with ease, trading baseball contracts is tricker business.

The team is in limbo while a deal for the franchise is pending. Current ownership can’t overhaul the roster while trying to get someone to drop a cool billion on an unknown commodity. Any deal would need to be approved with the future ownership group.

Problem is, nobody knows who that is going to be.

Next: Miami Marlins trade Marlins Man

It’s a sticky situation. Most Miami baseball fans have given up on following the saga altogether. The endless number of twists, turns, and breaking news stories have exhausted the fan base. For the time being, Loria remains in the owners chair.

It appears he’ll be splitting his time between Little Havana and the Right Bank of the Seine until Derek Jeter can drum up another $1.275 billion.