Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush Angling Miami Marlins Takeover, Las Vegas’ MLB Odds Dealt Blow

Posted on: April 26, 2017, 09:00h. 

Last updated on: April 26, 2017, 09:15h.

Future Cooperstown member Derek Jeter and 2016 presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) are leading a group of investors in buying the Miami Marlins baseball franchise for a reported $1.3 billion.

Derek Jeter Jeb Bush Miami Marlins
Jeb Bush (left) and Derek Jeter are finalizing a deal to buy the Miami Marlins for $1.3 billion. (Image: Michele Sandberg/Miami New Times/John Munson/

According to theMiami Herald, the group is led by Bush, and the longtime politician will become the Major League Baseball (MLB) team’s “control person” once the deal is finalized. Current owner Jeffrey Loria, an art dealer, has owned the Marlins since 2003.

The Marlins takeover by the former Yankee great and younger brother to President George W. Bush deals a blow to Las Vegas’ chances of bringing MLB to Sin City.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said just last week that the league would consider relocating a team to Las Vegas. The Miami Marlins were one of two franchises he cited as potential targets.

In addition to Jeter, Bush’s group is reported to include at least four other individuals. Their identities and ties to South Florida, however, are unknown. While media outlets are reporting the deal is in place, there hasn’t been a formal contract signed, and the sale would then sequentially require final approval from MLB.

Snowbirds Head South

Should the sale go through as expected, the Miami Marlins will have two former Yankees in vital positions.

Don Mattingly spent his entire 14-year playing career in pinstripes, but as a manager, he’s coached both the Los Angeles Dodgers, and since 2016, the Marlins. Jeter also spent all 20 of his playing years in New York, but has since retired to Tampa.

With Jeter in a partial ownership position and Mattingly setting the lineups, the Marlins will certainly have a strong Bronx influence. That might not sit well with New York fans, but at least the Marlins are in the National League opposed to the Yankees in the American League.

Both organizations are rather long shots to win the World Series next fall. Prior to the season beginning, the Westgate SuperBook had the Yankees at 30-1 and the Marlins at 80-1 to win the title.

Sports Betting Repeal

Keeping the Marlins in Miami will likely be welcomed news in baseball’s front office. The league has eased its strong opposition to Las Vegas in recent years, as have the other Big Four associations, but sports betting remains a critical concern to professional sports being played in Nevada.

American Gaming Association (AGA) President Geoff Freeman says the time is ripe to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) and end sports gambling prohibition.

Talking with FOX Business this week, Freeman explained, “There is tremendous demand and tremendous need for a regulated sports betting market. I think we’re closer than at any point in the past several decades to making that a reality.”

The AGA is a gaming lobbying firm based in the nation’s capital. Freeman admits there are plenty of hurdles that remain in the way, but with President Donald Trump in the White House and growing calls for PASPA repeal, the lobbyist says he believes “this is really happening.”