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Nationals owner Mark Lerner said the franchise is no longer for sale after nearly 2 years of exploration

February 20th, 2024

The Washington Nationals are no longer on the market.

Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner confirmed to The Washington Post on Monday that he is no longer working to sell the team. He said he and his family, after nearly two years of trying to find a buyer, came to the decision “a while ago.”

“Nothing has really changed,” Lerner said, via The Washington Post. “We’ve just decided that it’s not the time or the place for it. We’re very happy owning the team and bringing us back a ring one day.”

The Lerner family purchased the Nationals from Major League Baseball for $450 million in 2006, just one year after the team relocated to Washington and rebranded itself after starting as the Montreal Expos. Mark took over control of the club from his father, Ted Lerner, in 2018. Ted died last year at 97.

The Lerner family started exploring selling the franchise in April 2022. According to Forbes, the Nationals were worth about $2 billion in 2023. That made the franchise the 16th-most valuable team in the league, though well behind the New York Yankees at $7.1 billion.

It’s unclear how much Lerner and his family wanted to get for the team. By comparison, the Angelos family reached a deal to sell the Baltimore Orioles last month to a pair of billionaires for just more than $1.7 billion.

Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner confirmed Monday that the team is no longer for sale. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner confirmed Monday that the team is no longer for sale. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

While the Nationals won the World Series in 2019, which marked the franchise’s first championship, things have been rough for them ever since. The team went just 71-91 last season and missed the playoffs for a fourth straight season. The team hasn’t had a winning record since its championship run and has finished last in the NL East four straight times. The Nationals have acquired several significant young players in recent years, including catcher Keibert Ruiz, shortstop CJ Abrams and pitchers Josiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore. They also selected outfielder Dylan Crews out of LSU with the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft.

The Nationals open their season against the Cincinnati Reds on March 28.

While the team is desperately looking for improvements on the field, they’ll have to do that under Lerner’s watch. How much he and his family are willing to invest in the team now that the Nationals are off the market, however, remains to be seen.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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