Samson discusses state of Marlins ownership

Samson discusses state of Marlins ownership

MIAMI -- Marlins president David Samson on Saturday downplayed reports that the organization is considering a purchase offer and stressed that the club's primary focus in 2017 is to be a postseason contender.

"There's obviously a lot of buzz -- there are rumors," Samson said. "There's all sorts of stuff that happens all the time. Are these rumors different than other rumors? Time will always tell what happens."

Samson said at FanFest at Marlins Park that about once a month the organization is approached by someone interested in purchasing the team.

"You always listen to anything, because that's responsible," Samson said. "But the commitment to Miami that I feel, that we feel, never wavered. If you think about all the times back in 2002, I'm not sure people were lining up to replace John Henry."

Henry sold the club to Jeffrey Loria, who previously owned the Montreal Expos, for $158 million in 2002. As part of a multi-team transaction, Henry gained ownership of the Red Sox.

In recent months, speculation has surfaced that Loria, 76, is open to selling the Marlins. A Forbes report on Thursday claimed the Marlins had a "handshake agreement" to sell the team for about $1.6 billion.

"I have never commented to anyone anything like that," Samson said of the reported handshake agreement. "I have no idea what that means."

According to The New York Times, Joshua Kushner, whose brother Jared is married to Ivanka Trump, is interested in purchasing the Marlins and has pursued a deal for several months.

"Certainly, the Commissioner and I have spoken," Samson said, referring to the report of Joshua Kushner's interest in the club, "and that led to the Commissioner making the statement that he made."

On Thursday, Major League Baseball issued a statement emphasizing that Joshua Kushner's father, Charles Kushner -- who was convicted in 2005 of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering -- is not connected to a potential sale of the Marlins.

"Under Major League Baseball rules, the Commissioner's Office must be informed of any conversation about a potential sale," the statement read. "The Commissioner's Office has not heard directly or indirectly of any conversation involving Charles Kushner."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.