New reports suggest that Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and potential contender in the 2016 Republican presidential race, offered to purchase the Miami Marlins baseball team but was rejected by the current owner, Jeffrey Loria.
According to the Miami Herald, Bush led a team of wealthy investors who made a “large offer” to buy the Marlins from Loria. Loria has reportedly received several offers for the franchise in recent years, but he has not accepted any of them.
Bush, brother to former President (and Texas Rangers owner) George W. Bush and son to former President George H.W. Bush, was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007 and now runs an education advocacy group in the state. Most reporters speculate that had the deal gone through, he would have accepted a managing partner title to increase the team’s presence.
Bush refused to discuss terms of the offer to buy the Marlins with the Miami Herald, including questions about whether he would have become CEO and managing partner. According to MLB rules, even if Bush owned only a small percentage of the team, he would still be able to take the managing owner position. That rule has already worked out in his family’s favor before.
Before he was elected governor of Texas in 1994, Jeb’s brother George was a co-owner of the Texas Rangers and held the managing partner title from 1989 until his election.
The Miami Herald also notes that Loria might be more inclined to sell the Marlins after 2014, when he no longer has to split profits from the team with Miami-Dade County. However, the paper also cites several sources close to Loria who state that he loves running a team too much to give up the job.
While Loria appears to enjoy running a baseball team, his stint as owner hasn’t pleased all the fans. The club has made many cost-cutting moves following a payroll surge to start the 2012 season.