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Is Jeff Loria going to stiff Miami-Dade County on the Marlins sale?


The sale of the Miami Marlins to the Bruce Sherman/Derek Jeter group is complete, but there is still some accounting to be done. Maybe. If Jeff Loria holds up what is alleged to be his end of his deal with the people of Miami-Dade County, anyway. If not, the matter may very well wind up in court.

That’s because, per the Miami Herald, Loria was supposed to kick back a percentage of the sale proceeds of the team to the local government if the team was sold in a certain, specified period after the new ballpark the taxpayers underwrote opened:

Loria’s 2008 deal with Miami and Miami-Dade included payout provisions if he sold the team within six years of the 2012 opening of a county-owned ballpark built with more than $400 million in public dollars and about $150 million from the team. The deal requires the Marlins to pay the two governments 5 percent of the proceeds of a sale.

Five years and six months later, the bill may be coming due. But with Loria able to deduct both debt and taxes paid on the sale, it’s not known whether he plans on notifying local governments that they’re entitled to any dollars from the transaction.

It would not shock me at all if Loria structured the deal in some way so as to put the actual effective date of the transfer outside of that six year window somehow. Or if the books reflect little or no money leftover for the county after the debt and taxes are accounted for. Of course, given that Loria purchased the team for $160 million and sold it for a reported $1.2 billion, that would have to be some pretty hefty number rearranging in order to make it look like there wasn’t a massive profit here. Not that Loria doesn’t have a lot of practice at that sort of thing.

Whatever the case, it’ll be pretty surprising if the matter doesn’t end up in court.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.