MIAMI -- Derek Jatter spent the offseason discussing the Miami Marlins spending extra money on contracts, finding ways to compete and building for the future.
Evidently, his focus or that of the Marlins has changed.
Now, the Hall of Fame player is leaving the organization as CEO and shareholder.
Jeter announced his surprise departure from Miami Marlins. He had spent 4 1/2 unsuccessful years with the team, but they didn't even come close to the success he enjoyed as a New York Yankees player. Over Jeter's four seasons of baseball, the Marlins had the fourth worst record in baseball. They made the playoffs in 2020, when more than half the MLB's 30 teams were qualified for the pandemic-affected season.
Jeter stated that "Through hardwork, trust, and accountability, we transformed all aspects of the franchise, restructuring the workforce, and developing a long term strategic plan for success," in a statement released by PR Newswire, rather than the Marlins. "It is important to note that the franchise's future vision differs from the one I was signed up to lead.
Although Jeter, who was not physically present with the team on a daily basis, previously stated that he struggled to remain patient in his quest for the Marlins to win.
Bruce Sherman, Marlins' principal shareholder, said, "We have a rich bench of talent that will supervise both business and baseball decisions as we work to find a new CEO for our franchise." This statement was released by a PR firm, not the team.
Sherman purchased the Marlins from Jeffrey Loria in September 2017. Jeter was named CEO of the Marlins.
Jeter, a five-time World Series champion whose entire playing career was with the Yankees between 1995 and 2014, was elected to the Hall of Fame of baseball in 2020.
In his four seasons as Miami's manager, Miami was 218-327. The team finished with a losing record of 31-29 in the 2020 pandemic-shortened season. The Marlins were 63-98 in Jeter's full seasons, 57-105, and 67-95 respectively.
The Yankees are baseball's most expensive team, but Miami was 27th in payroll at $61million last year. Jeter stated in October that he was optimistic that that would change after the Marlins improved their revenue streams over the past year, thanks to a new television deal and a new name rights agreement for their ballpark.
Jeter was a shortstop throughout his playing career and was the 1996 AL rookie-of-the-year. His 3,465 hits rank sixth on the baseball's all time list, behind Stan Musial, Hank Aaron and Pete Rose.
After the end of his playing days, his desire was to manage a team. Jeter was part the group that won August 2017 the right to purchase the Marlins for $1.2 billion. The deal became official two months later. Jeter was a shareholder of 4 percent in the purchase and took over as CEO and manager of baseball operations.
He stated that he was proud of having put his name and reputation on the line to help rebuild the Marlins.
Jeter stated, "My family, I and I would like thank our amazing staff, Marlins supporters, Marlins player and the greater Miami area for welcoming us with open arms, making us feel at home." "The organization is stronger than it was five-years ago and I am grateful and thankful to have been a member of this team."
Jeter was instrumental in signing Avisail Garcia, an All-Star outfielder, to a $43 million, four-year contract with the Marlins in December just before the MLB lockout. The Marlins signed Sandy Alcantara, an ace right-hander, to a five year, $56 million deal. They also brought back Miguel Rojas, the clubhouse leader, on a two-year contract worth $10 million.
Garcia was the last major splash before the lockout started. Jeter stated that Garcia was the last big splash before the lockout began. He went to breakfast with Garcia because he wanted Garcia to convince him personally that the Marlins were the right choice for him.
Jeter shared the stage with Sherman during the signing announcement. "That's what I want to hear."
He spoke long about the Marlins future hopes that day.
Approximately three months later, this future does not include Jeter.
Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, said that Derek was a great friend and a valuable asset to the Marlins and communities in Miami. "Derek is a winner both on and off the pitch...a pillar of our sport and we look forward his future contributions to baseball."
This report was contributed by Ronald Blum, AP Baseball Writer, Jupiter, Florida.