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Marlins owners looking for cash infusion only months after closing $1.2B purchase

The Marlins, led by Derek Jeter, told a scout they wouldn't renew his contract just days after having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

The new Marlins ownership group, fronted by former Yankees captain Derek Jeter, is looking for a nine-figure infusion of cash less than two months after closing on the $1.2 billion deal to buy the team, FanRag Sports reported Wednesday, citing an emailed presentation it has obtained.

The three-slide, bullet-pointed presentation — titled "Project Citrus," labeled "confidential" and dated November 2017 — was sent to "high-net-worth individuals" with the hopes they would be interested in coming on board as investors in “The Miami Marlins Major League Baseball Club.”

According to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman, who cited two unidentified people who've seen related emails, the Marlins are hoping to raise $250 million from the added investors, although that figure isn't contained in the investor-teaser document.

The team — even with wealthy co-owner Bruce Sherman on board — faces a daunting financial situation, likely the reason for the search for investors, FanRag reported:

"Though some suggest it is highly unusual for a new group to seek significant monies so soon after closing, it may turn out to be a prudent thing to do considering the new group contains no known Steve Ballmer-types (the new Clippers owner reputed to be worth $25 billion), and also considering the Marlins’ stated loss of upwards of $60 million this year, and expected near-term losses in coming years. Sherman, the main investor, is believed to have committed close to $400 million of his own money, and while he obviously can afford it (since the sale closed), new deep-pocketed investors may also make things more comfortable."

The team, as currently constructed, has a $115 million payroll, far above what can be supported by current revenues, among MLB's lowest.

Part of what the ownership pitches to investors is a combination of winnowing that payroll by trading stars such as Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon, while also anticipating potential new revenue streams such as stadium naming rights, advertising and sponsorship deals, in-stadium concerts and the possibility of a lucrative future regional sports network contract.

At the heart of any pitch, however, is whether South Florida will embrace the new ownership's vision and prove it with its pocketbooks since Marlins fans have been burned multiple times by a continual buy-up/sell-off mentality.

To see the confidential "Project Citrus" presentation obtained by FanRag Sports, click here.