There may be a new bidding group that Derek Jeter has to worry about in the retired Yankee captain’s drive to become part owner of the Miami Marlins.
And there is a pinstriped, six-degrees-of-separation twist that figures into the latest chapter of the south Florida baseball team currently owned by Manhattan art dealer Jeffrey Loria.
Joe Molloy — the ex-husband of Jessica Steinbrenner, the late Yankee owner George’s daughter — is part of a group headed by Stonington Capital Partners that has “emerged with late interest in the Marlins,” according to FanRag Sports. Molloy was also the former Yankees managing partner in the early ‘90s, when George Steinbrenner was serving a ban handed down by former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent.
Molloy was running the team when Jeter was selected by the Bombers as the sixth overall pick in the 1992 draft.
“I’m not going to confirm or deny the (FanRag) report,” Molloy told the Daily News on Thursday. After he left the Yankees in the late ‘90s, Molloy returned to teaching and was at one point the assistant principal at Sligh Middle School in a gritty part of Tampa.
Jeter, whose No. 2 jersey will be retired by the Yankees Sunday, is part of a group that includes former Florida Gov. and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush that is trying to purchase the Marlins. The other leading group includes Tagg Romney, the son of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine.
But sources have told The News that all three groups will have a difficult time coming up with the reported $ 1.3 billion asking price for the club.
After the messy business proceedings with the sale of both the Rangers and the Dodgers, it is unlikely that the baseball owners would approve the sale of the Marlins to any potential buyer without strong, stable financing. Any purchaser of the club would be assuming an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, in addition to the millions in annual losses. Marlins Park, the team’s five-year-old, publicly financed stadium, struggles to attract fans.
The Marlins also have several heavily back-loaded contracts, including that of slugger Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins outfielder is scheduled to earn $ 14.5 million this year, $ 25 million in 2018, $ 26 million in both 2019 and 2020, $ 29 million in 2021 and 2022, and $ 32 million each year in 2023, 2024 and 2025.