BOSTON — Derek Jeter was a winner with the Yankees and those most familiar with his time in pinstripes don’t see any of that changing as a part-owner of the Marlins.
“He’s a guy, no matter what he’s involved in, he’s going to be successful,” said Brett Gardner, a teammate of Jeter’s from 2008-2014. “I’m excited for him.”
A source confirmed reports Tuesday from Bloomberg and the Miami Herald that an ownership group led by the iconic shortstop and former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush emerged as the winner of an auction to purchase the Marlins.
The Miami Herald reported that the group had agreed to pay $1.3 billion for the club, which is currently owned by Jeffrey Loria. Loria has owned the Marlins since 2002. It is not clear when the transaction could become complete and once it does, 75 percent of MLB owners would have to approve it, though few expect that to be an obstacle.
Also unclear is exactly how much control Jeter, who earned just over $265 million in salary and bonuses during his 19-year career with the Yankees, would ultimately have.
“I think he’ll be very good at it,” said Joe Girardi, who played with and then managed Jeter from 2008 until the shortstop retired following the 2014 season. Girardi also has Marlins ties, managing them in 2006.
“He truly cares about the game, he cares about the product on the field, he cares about winning,” Girardi added.
That Jeter, 42, will be involved in ownership is not a surprise. Throughout his career, starting early on, Jeter, whom the Yankees drafted in 1992, discussed the possibility of doing so when his playing days were done.
Among those he talked to about owning a team was CC Sabathia, a teammate from 2009-14.
“One-thousand percent this is something that he wanted to do,” Sabathia said Tuesday afternoon, shortly after it was announced the first game of the Yankees-Red Sox series at Fenway Park had been postponed because of rain. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader on July 16.
Sabathia, a sports junkie who watches just about everything sports-related, cautioned success isn’t guaranteed.
“Great players don’t always translate to great executives, as we’ve seen,” Sabathia said. “So we’ll have to wait and see what happens for him. Like I said, he’s wanted to do this, he’s very capable of doing this. We’ll have to see how it plays out . . . but I think Jete has a lot to offer. So, of course, I think it’s great for the sport.”
Gardner predicted Jeter would “do whatever it takes to be successful,” but not to the point of being overbearing as an owner in terms of temperament.
“Maybe similar to the way he played,” Gardner said. “He’s very methodical in his approach to the game, very consistent. Was always a big believer in taking things one day at a time while still maintaining a realistic long-term outlook. His temperament was very even-keeled.”
Sabathia said he didn’t think ownership would be a difficult transition given Jeter isn’t all that removed from his on-field career.
“He’s old,” Sabathia said with a laugh. “This is what he wants to do. He’s retired, he’s done playing. He’s playing golf every day . . . so I don’t think it will be hard at all.”
Girardi said it will be “odd” seeing Jeter, a lifelong Yankee, affiliated with another franchise.
“But, feeling that was something that was a desire of his, to own a club one day, he probably didn’t see the Yankees coming up for sale any time soon,” Girardi said. “So he took the first opportunity. But I think he’ll always be considered a Yankee.”
With David Lennon