Jeter's sights had long been set on Marlins

New CEO plans to be hands-on to help club fulfill its potential

Jeter's sights had long been set on Marlins

MIAMI -- Owning a Major League club is something Derek Jeter thought about even as he was building Hall of Fame credentials as shortstop for the Yankees. The 43-year-old now welcomes the task of building a winner as a front-office executive.

Jeter on Tuesday was introduced as the Marlins' chief executive officer, with Bruce Sherman assuming the title of chairman and principal owner. They led a group that purchased the franchise from Jeffrey Loria for $1.2 billion.

Letter from Jeter to Marlins fans

Three years removed from being the Yankees captain, Jeter now plans on being hands-on in baseball operations. He's committed to building long-term success with an organization that last had a winning season in 2009 and has not made the playoffs since '03.

"I was very vocal throughout the end of my career that this was something I wanted to pursue moving forward," Jeter said. "Unfortunately, when you play this game, time runs out. So I wanted to be in a position to be involved in an ownership group. So I set my sights on that."

With a home in Tampa, Jeter spent the past few years inquiring about making the transition to an executive.

Tampa is the Spring Training home of the Yankees, and Jeter did his homework learning the ins and outs of an organization, including touring the Yankees' Minor League facilities.

Jeter believes in Miami

"One thing that I've learned and has been said universally to me, not only in baseball but in other sports, regardless of how much success you've had in any particular business, this is a whole other beast," Jeter said. "It's going to take some time to learn. I'm not coming in here thinking that I know everything about team ownership. I do not.

"One thing I'm very good at is knowing what I don't know and surrounding myself with people who are much smarter than I am that I can lean on for advice."

As he learns the ropes of running the club, Jeter plans on being visible. He intends to be involved, working closely with president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

"The vast majority of my time and effort will be here working for the Marlins," Jeter said. "I think you have to be present. You have to be involved. People won't respect you, in my mind, I don't think they'd respect me if I wasn't."

An iconic player, Jeter was a 14-time All-Star and a five-time World Series champion. What attracted him to the Marlins, a team he had no previous connection?

"I live in Florida," Jeter said. "Miami is very close. Bruce lives down in Florida as well. These teams don't trade very often. There's only so many opportunities you have to purchase a franchise. I'll be honest with you. I've had my mind set on this for years. I've been looking at Miami for years."

A few years back, Jeter spoke with Loria about potentially owning a club.

"I first had a conversation with Jeffrey years ago, and he had mentioned this may be an organization that comes up for sale," Jeter said. "So I set my sights on it. This is what we targeted. This is what we wanted. We believe in this market. We feel there is huge upside."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. 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.