Posts Tagged ‘Team Sale’

Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe A. Martinez told Doug Hanks of the Miami Herald that District 11 – the district Martinez has represented since 2000 – is suing the Miami Marlins and the former ownership group led by Jeffrey Loria in order to recover profit-sharing revenues.

News of the lawsuit comes two weeks after a report surfaced suggesting Loria was not expecting to share any of the $1.2 billion he and his ownership group received this offseason for selling the team to a group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter.

The suit stems from a profit-sharing deal that Miami-Dade and the Marlins struck in 2009 that gave the county and Miami a share of profits that could potentially come from a future sale. The dispute is over a $50-million portion of the sale which Loria agreed to reserve to cover any claims for the new ownership group. County lawyers are accusing Loria and the Marlins of inflating expenses so there are no profits remaining for the city.

“The Loria Marlins clearly believe that their unsupported, self-serving, and fuzzy math is sufficient basis to deceive the public,” the lawsuit reads, “but the Non-Relocation Agreement, the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and simple common sense require much more.”

Emilio Gonzalez, Miami’s city manager, also said the city plans to file its own lawsuit against Loria.

The county originally paid $500 million for the construction of Marlins Park, which opened in 2012 after ground was broken in 2009.

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As rumours of on-court changes swirl around the Cleveland Cavaliers, whispers of a major off-court development have re-emerged.

Owner Dan Gilbert is considering selling the team, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. This echoes a report from last August, in which sources outside the organization said they expected the Cavs to be put up for sale in the next few years.

The latest report comes in the midst of a brutal 3-9 stretch for the Cavs, one that is begging questions about the team’s ability to reach a fourth straight NBA Finals. LeBron James‘ free agency this summer looms large over the franchise, and Gilbert has been reported to be “fixated” on James’ decision. It has been heavily rumored for years that there’s little love lost between the superstar and owner.

Gilbert became the Cavs’ majority owner in 2005 for $375 million. Forbesestimated the team’s value last year at $1.2 billion – a figure likely higher now.

Having watched the Pittsburgh Pirates trade away Gerrit Cole and franchise cornerstone Andrew McCutchen in the span of three days, one frustrated fan recently started an online petition urging Major League Baseball to force principal owner Bob Nutting to sell the team.

“Pittsburgh is a baseball town that is being destroyed by a greedy owner,” the petition reads. “There are so many loyal fans who truly care and support this team through thick and thin. We deserve better. I, like many others, endured so much pain watching a losing franchise from 1993 until 2013 when we saw playoff baseball return to Pittsburgh. You could see and hear the pain we kept inside all those years being released that October night. If you have had a chance to witness that glorious night, you know Pittsburgh is a baseball town. We’ve had enough! There needs to be change from the top of the organization down.”

As of Wednesday morning, the petition – hosted on Change.org – had received more than 22,000 signatures.

“Bob Nutting needs to sell this team, so that we can see a competitive baseball team year in and year out,” it continues. “It is obvious that he doesn’t want to spend the money to make that happen. We need an owner who has a competitive spirit and loves the game of baseball!”

At this point, a change in ownership appears highly unlikely. Though the Pirates’ attendance declined for a second straight season in 2017 – they haven’t finished better than ninth in the National League in attendance since 1992 – Nutting made it clear in December that he’s not thinking about selling the club.

“No one has approached us (about selling),” Nutting told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune. “I haven’t heard any rumor. I haven’t had any discussion. I’m not aware of any buyer. And I have no interest in selling the team.”

Meanwhile, the Pirates’ roster will probably be purged further. On Tuesday, Josh Harrison – now the club’s longest-tenured player – foreshadowed an imminent end to his own time in Pittsburgh, saying that “if indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved that I also am traded.”

Thomas Dundon is the new man in charge.

The Dallas billionaire finalized his purchase of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, in a deal which sees him gain a majority stake of the franchise.

Former owner Peter Karmanos retained a minority share, selling 61 percent to Dundon, based on a $505-million valuation, according to Luke DeCock and Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer.

Dundon has the option to gain full control of the franchise within three years.

The Hurricanes had been owned by Karmanos since 1994, when the franchise was then known as the Hartford Whalers. The team relocated to North Carolina three years later. Thursday’s sale is conditional on Dundon agreeing to keep the team in Raleigh.

A press conference formally announcing the deal will be held Friday in Raleigh.

The Miami Marlins‘ new regime has stormed the compound and begun an aggressive tear-down of the roster to reduce payroll. Despite the immediate future looking bleak on the field, the front office is bullish on its financials.

The group led by Derek Jeter that bought the Marlins last fall put together a business plan called “Project Wolverine” outlining the expectations for the coming season. The document projects the team to “make an enormous profit in 2018 and sizable profits the following three years,” according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

The most recent version of the document, from August, projects the Marlins to yield a cash flow profit of $68 million for the coming season. At least part of that stems from a combination of vigorously cutting payroll and the one-time, $50-million payout from MLB’s sale of BAMTech to Disney.

The Marlins are apparently expecting to renegotiate their broadcasting deal with FOX this offseason, as well. The current television contract pays the least among all 30 teams.

Project Wolverine was issued to potential investors last year, two of whom shared copies of the document with the Miami Herald. The team did not comment on the contents. There have been updated versions, but those were not made public by the team.

The Miami Marlins‘ new ownership group – led by CEO and part-owner Derek Jeter – has come under heavy criticism this winter after using its first months in charge to purge salaries in a payroll-slashing fire sale. Now, it appears the franchise’s direction this offseason could have been very different had Jeter’s bid been rejected.

Sources told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that Jeter and Sherman were the lone prospective ownership group that planned to cut the Marlins’ payroll upon purchasing the franchise from Jeffrey Loria.

Prior to the transaction, Miami’s 2017 payroll ran a hair over $115 million. Since taking over, Jeter and Sherman have cut it to about $72.9 million, according to Spotrac.

Details of what the Marlins may have looked like under different ownership have begun to emerge. Cuban-American businessman Jorge Mas – whose $1-billion offer for the team fell just short of the winning $1.2-billion bid – told Jackson that his plans for the Marlins included keeping franchise icon Giancarlo Stanton and his expensive contract, while also increasing payroll to $130 million in 2018.

A source within Major League Baseball told Jackson that billionaire Wayne Rothbaum, author of another losing bid for the franchise, also had no plans to slash salaries. Rather, Rothbaum was prepared to lose “substantial” amounts of money in the immediate term while keeping payroll steady and cutting the salaries of various executives – money that would have then been funneled back into players’ salaries.

Questions surrounding the Jeter-Sherman ownership began with a November report suggesting the group, having already completed the purchase, was still searching for additional investors. The situation reached a head during Jeter’s combative town hall meeting with season-ticket holders last week.

Even commissioner Rob Manfred got pulled into the controversy this week when – shortly after his tense and aggressive interview with a Miami radio station – a report alleged that he was aware of Jeter and Sherman’s plans to cut payroll before approving the purchase.

Already this winter the Marlins have traded Stanton – weeks after he won the NL MVP – and All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna for prospects and salary relief. Stars who have remained in Miami are said to be disappointed by the new direction, with J.T. Realmuto reportedly asking to be traded.

Jeter has already said he has no plans to talk with any of his disappointed players.

The current dismantling of the Miami Marlins following the sale of the team to a group led by Derek Jeter has not gone smoothly so far. Jeter faced plenty of jeers during a recent town hall with season-ticket holders, and even the loyal “Marlins Man” let the team know of his disappointment.

Amid the strong backlash from fans after multiple star players were traded away, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday that his office was unaware of the Marlins’ intentions to slash payroll to this extent.

It turns out that may not be accurate. When Jeter’s ownership group was pursuing the franchise, they were required to tell other owners of their payroll-related plans, sources told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Owners were told the plan was to cut payroll from $115 million to a range between $85 million and $90 million.

When asked if he knew of Jeter’s plans on Wednesday, Manfred replied, “No. We did not have player-specific plans from the Miami Marlins or any other team during the approval ownership process. Those are decisions the individual owners make. We do not approve operating decisions by any ownership, new owner or current owners. As a result, the answer is no.”

However, that answer was disputed by one of Jackson’s sources.

“Commissioner said (he) was not aware of (Jeter’s) plan to slash payroll,” the source said. “Absolutely not true. They request and receive the operating plan from all bidders.”

Wherever the truth lies, the relationship in Miami between the franchise, its fans, and both current and former players is in need of some serious work.