In his first public remarks about his bid for the Miami Marlins, Jeb Bush sounded an optimistic note despite the nearly $1 billion that he and his partner Derek Jeter must raise to secure the deal.
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Speaking at the Milken Conference today in Los Angeles, CA, the former governor of Florida said he has support from the City of Miami and a group of investors, suggesting a deal is in reach.
As FOX Business recently reported, the duo's $1.34 billion bid for the team is hardly a lock; the duo must raise around $800 million to $900 million in cash from outside investors given Major League Baseball’s preference that they purchase the team without incurring massive debt.
At the conference, Bush said Jeter, a former star New York Yankee shortstop, would handle the day-to-day baseball operations of the club. Bush also noted he would be more immersed on the business side, including possibly expanding team reach to Latin America, which he described as a potential huge new market for the MLB. If his bid is approved, Bush said he would methodically manage the team not by embarking on a free agent spending spree, but instead would aim to “build the team patiently.”
“Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap, which is what you have to self-impose as an owner,” Bush said. “You have to have the discipline to identify players the right way…There’s no correlation between high salaries and winning.”
Bush and Jeter are leading the group bidding to buy the Marlins from oft-maligned owner Jeffrey Loria, who has run a money losing enterprise since buying the team in 2002, ladened with a significant amount of debt. Loria can command a piece well above the $158 million he paid 15 years ago because of the scarcity value of professional baseball teams. Other potential bidders including a team led by Tagg Romney, the son of 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have placed bids for the team albeit lower than Jeter and Bush. [moved this grx]
The Miami mayor’s office did not return FOX’s calls for comment at the time of publication. A Marlins spokesman had no comment.
Bush also took a swipe at President Trump, who beat the former Florida governor during the often brutal 2016 GOP presidential sweepstakes, in which Trump coined him “low energy.”
While Bush said he likes some of Trump’s actions such as his Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, and several of his cabinet appointments, he advised Trump to “chill out” with the spontaneous tweeting, citing the president’s comments on North Korea, his unpopular proposed gas tax and supporting a government shutdown.