Derek Jeter's hopes for purchasing the Miami Marlins were diminished with the loss of a big backer, according to a report by the New York Post.
Richard Chaifetz, a billionaire from Chicago has left Jeter's group. With Jeter already short on funding for the team, this could be a fatal blow. Miami has other bidders in the mix and Jeter may have trouble beating the clock now. It is possible other backers could decide to join Chaifetz on the sidelines as well.
The reason for Chaifetz's departure is similar to the one that forced former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to exit the group. Chaifetz reportedly did not like the configuration of power in the organization. Jeter who is expected to invest a modest amount, would be the control person in the new ownership group. Like Bush, Chaifetz did not appreciate this arrangement.
Major League Baseball has let it be known, that it wishes to have the sale wrapped up quickly. There are even some reports that the team could have a sale in place prior to Tuesday's All-Star Game. While there is still time for Jeter to recoup the lost funds, the odds could be against the legendary shortstop,
Bruce Sherman of Legg Mason is part of Jeter's group as well and he is making up for some of the difference lost with Chaifetz's departure. Whether Sherman can cover enough of that money remains to be seen. Things can sometimes move fast in these type of deals however and a merger of groups could always be a possibility as well.
In addition to the Jeter group, the Marlins have a reported bid from local billionaire Jorge Mas. Mas may be considered the front-runner at this point in the one-on-one match-up. A third group was previously interested, but has reportedly left the bidding war. That group featured Tagg Romney, Tom Glavine and others.