Derek Jeter’s group closes on purchase of Miami Marlins, promises ‘winning culture’

MIAMI (AP & WSVN) — Derek Jeter’s group closed on its purchase of the Miami Marlins on Monday, and he and new controlling owner Bruce Sherman will speak publicly for the first time about the deal at a news conference Tuesday.

Major league owners last week unanimously approved the $1.2 billion sale of the franchise by Jeffrey Loria to the investment group led by Jeter and Sherman. The closing came one day after the Marlins concluded their eighth consecutive losing season, the longest streak in the majors.

In a letter posted to The Players’ Tribune, Tuesday, he led with “Welcome to Miami. Bienvenidos a Miami.” Within the letter, Jeter reminisces on early memories in Florida.

I heard those words on my first trip to Florida. I was in high school, on a recruiting trip to the University of Miami. I was only 17 and Miami was the farthest I’d ever been from home.

It wasn’t just that hearing Spanish was new to me. Everything about Miami was different and exciting. I don’t really recall exactly what I did or where I went that weekend. It was a blur. But to this day I still remember how it felt. The music, the weather, the diversity — I remember how alive Miami was.

Jeter also highlighted three main points and promises to fans: “We’re going to develop a winning culture,” “we’re going to celebrate the culture and diversity of this community” and “we believe in the Marlins’ organization.”

Jeter ended the letter with, “The next era of Marlins baseball begins now. Let’s have some fun — it’s the Miami way.”

Among issues to be addressed by the new owners will be the future of major league home run and RBI champion Giancarlo Stanton, whose salary will nearly double next year to $25 million next year, which could make him unaffordable for the revenue-challenged franchise.

Also in question are the status of manager Don Mattingly and president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

Loria became widely unpopular because of his frugal ownership. He bought the franchise for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry, part of the current Boston Red Sox ownership group.

Jeter, who played on five World Series champions with the New York Yankees, will head baseball and business operations for a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2003. He has about a 4 percent stake in the ownership group.

Sherman has the highest equity stake at about 46 percent. The venture capitalist spent much of his financial career in New York and has a home in Naples, Florida.

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