By Sam Bush
Here’s outrlatest update on the proposed sale of the Nationals by the Lerner family.
After apparently halting their search for a new owner last offseason, it is now being reported that Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis offered the Lerners $2 billion for the team, which had been the team’s estimated value according to Forbes.
Why would the Lerners, if they really wanted to sell their franchise, refuse such an offer?
Did they seriously expect that the team, which had the worst record in MLB last year, to fetch a higher price? Was the announcement of a sale merely a bluff to leverage the ongoing MASN litigation? Have the Lerner family’s intentions about a potential sale changed since the passing of patriarch Ted Lerner?
Before this news, the public had been led to believe that the sale process had ended because the Nationals were anchored to MASN, limiting the potential income a new owner could receive from television broadcasts. We now know that Leonsis did, in fact, submit a reasonable offer despite the MASN debacle.
If the Lerners won’t take $2 billion from Ted Leonsis, what sort of offer would they accept? Or do they plan on selling the team at all? No new owner could change the Nationals’ on-field fortunes overnight, but a rebuilding team needs a steady, committed hand at the wheel. If the Lerners truly mean to be the owner of this franchise for the long run, they need to start acting like it and invest in this rebuild. If not, then it’s time to give Ted Leonsis a call, and cash out.
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