NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Formal approval of the sale of the Florida Marlins to Jeffrey Loria, the owner of the Montreal Expos, and Major League Baseball's acquisition of the Expos from Loria was officially announced Tuesday.
Commissioner Bud Selig initially scheduled an owners meeting for Tuesday in Chicago, but decided to give the owners the option of voting on the proposed sales by mail last week. As expected, both of the transactions received the necessary three-quarters votes for approval.
Major League Baseball will own a team for the first time in its history, although it intends to eliminate the Expos after the 2002 season.
But for what probably will be their final season in Montreal, the Expos will have Frank Robinson as manager, Omar Minaya as the major leagues' first Hispanic general manager and Tony Tavares as president.
"I am very pleased with the management team that we have assembled," Selig said. "They have long experience in the game and they are first rate in every way. Now that they are in place, they will have the authority to operate the club with complete autonomy."
Meanwhile, Expos manager Jeff Torborg and most of Montreal's front office staff will go with Loria to Florida.
Loria's purchase of the Marlins paves the way for John Henry, who has owned the Florida team the last three years, to become owner and managing general partner of the Boston Red Sox.
Loria is paying Henry $158.5 million for the Marlins and will receive $120 million from MLB for the Expos. Henry and his group are paying $660 million to buy the Red Sox, Fenway Park and 80 percent of the New England Sports Network.