The next step is for the agreement to be reviewed on Wednesday by MLB owners at their meeting in Chicago. Samson said the transaction could be voted on as early as September, and Sherman and Jeter may assume control of the club in early October after the regular season ends.
“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Samson told reporters on Saturday. “It’s been a process that has had a lot of twists and turns, a lot of misinformation out there. There will be more to say when it’s done. The only thing I’ll add is, we feel really good.”
A source told MLB.com that basketball legend Michael Jordan will have an ownership stake in the Marlins.
Until the transaction is completed, Samson said it will be business as usual as far as player movement, including possible waiver trades.
“Jeffrey is the owner of the team until it closes,” Samson said. “He will operate the team in the ordinary course of business, as will I.”
Since the team announced in Spring Training that Loria was open to selling the club, three groups made strong bids. But Sherman and Jeter got the nod over Miami-based billionaire Jorge Mas.
There have been reports that Mas could join the Sherman-Jeter group, but Samson said that will not happen.
“The group is Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter and other investors,” Samson said. “Jorge Mas is a personal friend, and someone I’ve known for 15 years who I’m close to. He is not part of the group. He will not be part of the group. There’s no discussions for him to be part of the group. He was in a competing group. He did not prevail.”
Samson also noted that he is open to remaining with the Marlins, but said his future with the organization has not been decided.
“I have remained completely neutral, because I was the one running the deal,” Samson said. “I’ve been in touch with Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman constantly. I have never discussed my status. It’s not about me.”
Sherman, 69, grew up in Queens, N.Y., and he was the co-founder of Private Capital Management based in Naples, Fla.
Jeter, an all-time Yankees great, has expressed a desire to own a baseball club since his playing days.
Samson said Sherman will be the control person of the Marlins, and Jeter will run the business and baseball sides.
Jeter has invested $25 million toward the purchase.
“Bruce Sherman, he truly is a man who has a passion for baseball and a love of baseball,” Samson said. “Derek Jeter is an incredibly capable individual. Forget what he did on the field, because that’s not relevant any more. He’s incredibly capable off the field. Thinking about what it would mean for our community and for our fans, it just made the most sense.”
Loria purchased the Marlins in 2002, and the franchise won the World Series in ’03.
But the Marlins last went to the playoffs in 2003 and have not had a winning season since ’09.
In 2012, Marlins Park opened, offering the organization stability in South Florida. This year, the retractable-roof ballpark hosted a World Baseball Classic round in March, and in July, Miami hosted its first All-Star Game.
“As far as I’m concerned, the stadium that Jeffrey got built is what guaranteed the future of the Marlins,” Samson said. “Having this beautiful ballpark. But sometimes, teams change hands. Having Derek Jeter run this team, along with Bruce Sherman, I think it’s just an opportunity for a change. It’s something that just made sense for both Jeffrey and Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. What it means for our fans, there will be a continued effort to win games.”
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.