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Owners approve sale of Marlins to Derek Jeter group

MLB, Miami Marlins

MIAMI -- Major league owners have approved the sale of the Miami Marlins by Jeffrey Loria to an investment group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter.

The vote was unanimous, with 75 percent approval needed.

"Owning the Miami Marlins has been one of the singular honors of my life. I want to thank our players, coaches and employees for the incredible dedication they brought to this pursuit. I also extend my heartfelt thanks to our loyal fans for your passion and commitment to what we built together," Loria said in a statement.

"Owning a sports team, like most things in life, is temporary. An owner is merely the steward of a franchise, shepherding the advancement of this public trust during his or her tenure. I'm very proud of our collective achievements during the past 15 years, including bringing a World Series, new ballpark, World Baseball Classics, and an All-Star Game to our community."

Loria called Sherman and Jeter "true baseball people, as well as true gentlemen."

"I have every confidence in their ability as the next stewards of the Miami Marlins to take us to new heights," he said. "Although my ownership is in the past, my love of baseball is not. As an avid fan, I'll be eagerly watching from the sidelines."

A signed $1.2 billion agreement was submitted to Major League Baseball last month to sell the Marlins to a group led by Sherman, a venture capitalist who will be the controlling owner. Jeter, a 14-time All-Star shortstop for the New York Yankees, plans to be a limited partner in charge of the business and baseball operations.

The closing is expected within a few days. Minority owners in the Sherman-Jeter group include NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, who will have a small stake.

The winning group put up $800 million in cash, of the $1.2 billion, sources told ESPN's Darren Rovell. Sherman will own about 46 percent of the team, Jeter about 4 percent and Michael Jordan about .5 percent, according to sources.

Sherman spent much of his financial career in New York and has a home in Naples, Florida.

As part of the transition, four well-known Marlins executives were told last week they won't be retained. They were special assistant to the president Jeff Conine, who goes by the nickname Mr. Marlin, and three special assistants to the owner -- Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez, and former manager Jack McKeon, who led the Marlins to the 2003 World Series championship.

Team president David Samson is not expected to be retained.

"I wish the best to Jeffrey Loria and David Samson. During their tenures, the Marlins won the 2003 World Series, hosted this season's successful All-Star week at spectacular Marlins Park and eagerly supported our efforts to grow the game internationally. I congratulate Mr. Sherman on receiving approval from the major league clubs as the new control person of the Marlins and look forward to Mr. Jeter's ownership and CEO role following his extraordinary career as a player," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

Loria's decision to sell the team became public in February, and Jeter's interest emerged in April. The Jeter-Sherman group beat out two other groups that pursued the team in the final weeks of negotiations.

Loria, 76, departs widely unpopular because of his conservative spending and the public financing that helped build 5-year-old Marlins Park. The Marlins are assured of their eighth consecutive losing season, the longest streak in the majors, and they'll sit out the playoffs for the 14th year in a row, which is the longest streak in the National League.

They're also likely to finish last in the NL in attendance for the 12th time in the past 13 years, creating revenue constraints that may lead to a payroll purge in Jeter's first offseason as an owner.

Among players who might be shopped is major league home run leader Giancarlo Stanton, whose salary will nearly double next year to $25 million in the fourth season of his record $325 million, 13-year contract.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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