Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has a handshake agreement in place to sell the team, according to a report by Forbes.
The report cites unnamed sources and the team has not confirmed the accuracy of the agreement. The monetary value of the sale would be $1.6 billion, and the perspective owner is a real estate developer from New York. The name of the developer has not been released as of yet.
— Mike Ozanian (@MikeOzanian) February 9, 2017
While this could be considered progress to an eventual sale of the team, there is a potential hold-up in the talks. The developer's funds are reportedly tied up in his properties and he would not have the liquid funds needed for the purchase of the team. Major League Baseball may not authorize such a transaction, due to the amount of debt involved.
This is not the first time that there have been reports of Loria looking to sell the Marlins. It is however, the closest any of those reports have come to an actual completed transaction. At $1.6 billion, the team would sell for one of the larger amounts in MLB history. Loria himself paid only $158 million when he bought the team prior to the 2002 season.
The Marlins have a lot of potential expenses in their future, but there are also some attractive assets in place. In addition to hosting the 2017 All-Star Game, Marlins Park has become a regular host site of the World Baseball Classic. The roster also features an All-Star in Giancarlo Stanton and several other promising young players.
Miami has not reached the playoffs since 2003, when it won the second championship in franchise history. A new owner with more net worth than Loria, could potentially add to the roster and turn the Marlins into a World Series contender quicker.