Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has a “handshake agreement” to sell his franchise for $1.6 billion to an unnamed New York City real estate developer, Forbes reports.
Loria bought the Marlins in 2002 for $158 million. A $1.6 billion figure would make for the second biggest baseball price tag, behind only the Dodgers, who were sold for $2 billion.
According to Forbes, which cited two sources that attributed news of the deal to Marlins president David Samson, one potential holdup is that the New York City real estate developer has most of his assets tied up in real estate and does not have the liquidity to buy the team. That would thus require him to take on a fair amount of debt in order to buy the team. As Yahoo noted, this could potentially worry MLB.
Since Loria purchased the Marlins, the team has won one World Series (in 2003) and undergone a complete brand transformation. They moved to a $639 million stadium in Miami, funded primarily by taxpayers, and rebranded as the Miami Marlins.