Miami (AFP) - Reports that a group led by New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush had won an auction for the Miami Marlins are premature, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Tuesday.
Manfred, speaking in Pittsburgh where he helped introduce the Pirates' new youth baseball initiative, said multiple parties have expressed interest in acquiring the club and no deal is official.
"You can rest assured the acquiring group, whoever it turns out to be, will have a financial structure -- meaning some debt and the rest equity -- that is consistent with the rules we have, most notably the debt-service rule," Manfred said.
"And more important than complying with the rules, puts the franchise in a position that it can operate effectively."
The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that the Jeter-Bush group tabled a $1.3 billion (1.19 billion euros) bid for the team owned by art tycoon Jeff Loria, and said the Marlins expected to finalize the deal.
Loria, a successful New York art dealer, purchased the Marlins in 2002 for $158 million. The terms of the consortium's bid have not been made public and neither party has formally confirmed the deal.
The Herald reported that the Jeter-led consortium is confident a deal will be finalized although it may take months to complete the purchase.
Any change of ownership would also need to be approved by MLB, something which could in theory take place at the league's next owners meeting set for May 16-18 in New York.
Bush, who ran a failed campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination at the 2016 US elections, is expected to head up running of the franchise.
His elder brother -- former US President George W.Bush -- was a one-time owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team.
Jeter meanwhile is a Florida resident who has long spoken of his desire to own an MLB franchise.