ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Derek Jeter, who often talked about owning a baseball team in his final seasons as a player, is interested in bidding for the Miami Marlins, according to a report on Wednesday by the Fox Business Network.
Jeter, 42, is being represented in talks by former Morgan Stanley brokerage chief Gregory Fleming, according to the report.
Two other groups are reportedly interested in bidding for the Marlins, including one headed by former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
The price for the Marlins could be as much as $1.6 billion, according to the report. Jeter made more than $265 million in his playing career with the Yankees.
None of the parties involved could be reached for comment.
Jeter, who retired after the 2014 season, made no secret of his desire to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan, who is the majority owner and chairman of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
Jeter has been involved in several entrepreneurial ventures since he retired as a player. He founded The Players’ Tribune website and started a publishing company called Jeter Publishing with Simon & Schuster.
That the former Yankees captain might end up representing another organization could strike some as odd. But the Yankees aren’t for sale.
“That would be strange,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Jeter’s former teammate and manager. “In my mind, he’ll always be a Yankee. But there is life after baseball and sometimes the opportunity that presents itself is not always necessarily where you played.”
Girardi is also a former manager of the Marlins under owner Jeffrey Loria, the New York art dealer who is reportedly looking to sell the team after a tumultuous 14-year reign. The Marlins won the 2003 World Series against the Yankees under Loria and opened a new stadium in 2012, but haven’t had a winning season since 2009.
Could Jeter help change all that?
“I know he loves the game and I think he’d be a great owner,” Girardi said. “I do. And if it is the case, I wish him the best of luck . . . I think he’d have high expectations of his players, but he’s pretty even-keeled. Has a smile on his face all the time. I can only go by what I saw on the field. He could smile all the time and laugh. He enjoyed it and loved what he did. So I imagine he would be that way as an owner. I can’t see him any other way. I think he would be somewhat involved. An owner that played at the level he has played at should be a little involved. It’s his money.”
Brett Gardner, Jeter’s former teammate and the longest-tenured Yankee, said: “If he was involved with ownership, I think he would take great care of his players because he’s been on the inside for 20 years and he understands the daily grind and what it takes to be successful at this level in a big, big, big way.”