• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

An About-Face in D.C. As Lerners Pull Nationals From the Market

  • MLB club no longer for sale as ownership family changes course.
  • The Nationals remain deeply intertwined with the Lerners’ long-running real estate business.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in a year, an MLB club that had been for sale has been pulled off the market. 

Nationals managing principal owner Mark Lerner and his family are no longer entertaining offers for all or part of the team, according to The Washington Post, ending an exploration of a sale in place since early 2022.

“We’ve just decided that it’s not the time or place for it,” Lerner told the Post. “We’re very happy owning the team and bringing us back a ring one day.”

The Lerner family’s decision follows that of Angels owner Arte Moreno, who early last year said he “just couldn’t go through” with a sale of that franchise. 

The Nationals’ situation, however, arrives with a particular set of circumstances. Billionaire private equity executive David Rubenstein, who was rumored to be interested in buying the Nationals, is instead buying the Orioles. Rubenstein previously sought to partner on the Nationals deal with Washington Wizards, Capitals, and Mystics owner Ted Leonsis, who is now grappling with rising complications with his planned Alexandria, Va., arena and mixed-use development.

The Rubenstein deal in Baltimore, meanwhile, is being seen as a potential catalyst for solving the long-running impasse around the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. The regional sports network is co-owned by the Orioles and Nationals, with the Orioles holding a supermajority share, and a prior dispute over rights fees extended for more than a decade. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently suggested that Rubenstein’s arrival could spark bigger changes to MASN’s structure, saying “change always produces an opportunity.”

The Lerners also own a series of commercial and residential properties near Nationals Park, creating a deeper tie between the club and the family’s long-running real estate business, which like others in that industry was battered during the pandemic. The Nationals have an estimated value of $2 billion.

But the clan additionally faces rising unrest from fans who have seen four straight losing seasons and steadily falling payrolls since the Nationals’ World Series title in 2019, coupled with the departure of stars such as Trea Turner, Juan Soto, and Max Scherzer. 

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The WNBA Has Huge Ambitions as Caitlin Clark Finally Comes Aboard

Commissioner Cathy Engelbert is aware of the moment in front of the league.

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Chapter Officially Opens as No. 1 Overall Pick

Clark’s professional career is starting as a member of the Indiana Fever.

Knicks’ Resurgence Marks Peak in Dolan’s Sports Domain

The team’s on-court success is fueling a series of gains off it.

States Want Tax Reform As Ohtani’s Deal Deferrals Stir Controversy

California legislators heighten their push for new tax rules around deferred compensation.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Inside the Most-Hyped WNBA Draft in History


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

Fever Keeping Plans Quiet (for Now), Unlike Spurs and Blackhawks

The Fever’s business approach differs from recent rookie phenoms in other leagues.
April 9, 2024

Champions League Hosts Ramp Up Security Amid ISIS Threat

Cities are increasing police presence after social media posts.
April 10, 2024

Orioles Call Up Jackson Holliday Right Before Service Time Cutoff

Holliday is still in line to earn a full year of MLB service time.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 3, 2024

A’s Could Be Inching Toward Sacramento Move After Week of Local Meetings

Oakland wants the A’s to pay top dollar on their way out.
April 2, 2024

Larry Lucchino, One of Baseball’s Most Influential Executives, Dies at 78

The former Red Sox president and CEO helped lead the resurgence of that franchise.
March 29, 2024

A-Rod Group Vows to Take ‘Whatever Actions Are Necessary’ in Fight for Timberwolves

The fight to for control of the Timberwolves is far from over.
March 29, 2024

Saints Say Brand-New Cafeteria Has Nothing To Do With Player Complaints

Fixing the situation will involve relocating training camp 1,900 miles west.