It looks like ownership of the Miami Marlins once again is about to change hands.
Forbes reported Thursday, citing two anonymous sources, that the Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has a “handshake agreement” to sell the club for $1.6 billion.
The report does stress that an official agreement is not imminent, in large part because the buyer — reportedly a New York City real estate developer — isn’t liquid. And as Forbes points out, purchasing the Marlins likely would bring on a level a debt with which Major League Baseball might not be comfortable.
Regardless, it figures to be quite the return on investment for Loria, who bought the club in 2002 for $158 million. While baseball doesn’t play the prominent role in the American sports landscape it once did, owning a big league club is still lucrative. That’s especially true in a big market like Miami, which has a taxpayer-funded, relatively brand-new stadium.
If the Marlins can turn around their on-field performance — they’ve finished no better than third place with three last-place finishes in the National League East since 2010 — they do have the capability to be very much worth the hefty reported price tag.
The next Marlins owner would be the fourth since the team joined Major League Baseball in 1993.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports Images