MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Three big names are reportedly interested in buying the Miami Marlins – among them – two former presidential candidates and a former baseball player.
According to Fox Business, a multi-billion dollar bidding war could start for the team during opening week of Major League Baseball.
Within that, at least three potential buyers have emerged – former New York Yankees player Derek Jeter, former GOP presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and a group of businessmen with backing from Goldman Sachs.
Jeter has reportedly expressed interest in bidding to buy the team, sources told Fox Business, and he is being represented by a former Morgan Stanley brokerage chief in talks with Marlins President David Samson.
Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly says Jeter, his successor as captain of the New York Yankees, has “always talked about” owning a major league team one day.
Mattingly was asked before Miami’s game at the Washington Nationals on Wednesday about the report.
Mattingly said he is “sure” Jeter would be a good owner, because he “pretty much seems to be good at everything that he tries to do.”
“He’s always talked about it,” Mattingly said. “I asked if he wanted to coach, and he’s like, `Never.”‘
The two were briefly Yankees teammates in 1995, Mattingly’s last season in the majors and Jeter’s first, and Mattingly went on to coach New York during Jeter’s stay.
Mattingly said they speak about once a year.
The group headed by Bush is teaming up with Citigroup to possibly finance a bid for the team.
The other group, which has a number of businessmen, have financial backing from Goldman Sachs – a company known for its banking franchises in sports.
Bankers who reportedly represented a group that included former presidential candidate Mitt Romney have also made inquiries about a bid, sources said. But a spokesperson for Romney says he was not involved.
All this comes after Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria expressed interest in selling the team late last year. Loria paid $158 million for the team back in 2008.
Those involved in the bidding process say the team’s price tag could go from $800 million to $1.6 billion.
Spokesmen for the Miami Marlins, Jeter, Bush, Goldman and Citigroup, at last check, had not returned calls for comment.