The move marks a drastic shift in power within the Marlins organization. Jeter assumed the position following the sale of the team to businessman Bruce Sherman back in 2017.
The Marlins took on a massive rebuild when Sherman and Jeter took over the team, as Miami parted with stars like Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto in the years following the sale. After years of focusing mostly on building their farm system, Miami has finally been a bit active this offseason, signing free agent outfielder Avisail Garcia and trading for Jacob Stallings and Joey Wendle. They also extended their ace, Sandy Alcantara.
However, Jeter said in a statement regarding his decision “the vision for future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead.”
What that means for the team going forward is the big unknown. The Marlins may remain active after the lockout, but whatever their next move is, it will be made without Jeter as part of the front office.
However, conflicting reports have arisen about what the Marlins plans are without Jeter. Joel Sherman is reporting that Jeter was promised the Marlins would have $15-20 million to spend after the lockout, but that had evaporated since December.
Meanwhile, Mish says the Marlins are still committed to winning in 2022 and Jeter stepping aside does not change that plan.
Either way, it seems a power struggle between Jeter and general manager Kim Ng was at the forefront of this decision. Mish reports that Ng will now take over full control of baseball-related decisions, whereas Jeter and Gary Denbo previously had final say.
There are a multitude of other factors that could also be at play here. The Marlins’ captain Miguel Rojas reacted on Twitter by discussing how he served as a mentor to him. Jeter is known as a major advocate for players’ rights, and the lockout looms large over everybody.
Business could also be in play. Jeter was reportedly supposed to get a larger share of ownership by now, but his shares remain the same. He will sell his shares of the team as a result of the move, ending his partnership with the Marlins entirely.
Now the Marlins face a franchise-defining course of action. This was already a huge offseason for the team, but it just got a lot bigger. They will have to answer whether their vision involves serious spending that will significantly improve the team.
If Jeter’s vision was the one that involved spending, the Marlins will end up stuck in the endless cycle they have been caught in for years. Mish said himself, via SportsGrid, that he believes the Marlins will employ a Rays-like strategy of team building.
That does not sound like a vision that involves a whole lot of spending.
Under Jeter, the Marlins made their first playoff appearance since they defeated him and the Yankees in the 2003 World Series.
Last season, Miami finished a disappointing 67-95 record, but 2022 is seen as a defining year in the state of the franchise. Now they will go into this important season without their CEO.
This is a developing story, we will update this post with any new information that follows.