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Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan group emerge in hunt to buy Miami Marlins

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The Sports Xchange
Derek Jeter throws out the first pitch after a ceremony retiring his number before the Houston Astros play the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York City on May 14, 2017. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Derek Jeter throws out the first pitch after a ceremony retiring his number before the Houston Astros play the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York City on May 14, 2017. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

The future ownership of the Miami Marlins remained unclear Monday, with conflicting reports emerging about which group is the front-runner to buy the team.

A group headed by Derek Jeter and featuring Michael Jordan could soon complete a $1.2 billion deal for the Marlins, the New York Post reported.

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Meanwhile, Forbes reported that Miami billionaire Jorge Mas was set to purchase the club for $1.17 billion.

The news broke a day before the Marlins host baseball's All-Star Game for the first time. Marlins president David Samson, though, told the Miami Herald, "There's no agreement reached with anyone."

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Another group headed by Tagg Romney, son of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is believed to be in the running to purchase the team, too.

According to the Post, the Jeter group, featuring Naples, Fla., financier Bruce Sherman, was nearing an agreement with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria on the purchase. The newspaper reported that Jordan would invest "very little cash" in the deal, but that Jeter likes the former basketball star's involvement because of his transition from athlete to sports executive.

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Jordan is the majority owner of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.

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According to the Post, Loria set the price for the team at $1.3 billion but is now willing to accept a lower bid.

Earlier this year, Jeter was partnering with Jeb Bush in his bid to buy the Marlins, but the former Florida governor dropped out in late May, according to multiple media reports.

Loria purchased the Marlins in 2002 for $158 million, and a year later, the then-Florida Marlins won their second World Series. The Marlins haven't been back in the playoffs since, and they haven't finished above .500 since 2009.

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This year, the Marlins are 41-46, in third place in the National League East, 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Washington Nationals.

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