Seattle Mariners rumors now include the sale of the franchise. Many Mariners rumors have come out on Wednesday, April 27, beginning with CEO Howard Lincoln resigning from his post. Now comes the news that Nintendo of America is selling its majority stake in the Mariners, likely issuing in a new era for the Seattle franchise.
A report from KJR Sports Radio in Seattle states that Nintendo of America is selling the majority of its interest in the Seattle Mariners franchise to other current owners. While Nintendo will still retain a 10 percent stake in the franchise, the remainder of its holdings are being sold to other members of First Avenue Entertainment (FAE). This sale is contingent on approval from the other owners in Major League Baseball, with a vote expected to take place in August.
The other Seattle Mariners rumors have been addressed in a report from the Seattle Times. Current Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln has been in this position since he took over from John Ellis in 2000. He is now 76 years old and is going to be replaced by minority owner John Stanton as the face of the franchise. The move raises a lot of questions about the future of the franchise and which direction the ownership group will take the current roster.
The early response to these Mariners rumors has been positive on social media. Fans are excited about a new chapter, with many also feeling that this could lead to an increase in payroll for the franchise. There is nothing tangible for fans to pin those hopes on, though, as nobody from the ownership group or front office has suggested that the team will spend more money. While the topic is likely to be addressed by the team very soon, it is certainly something that many fans would like to see.
This news also comes shortly after the Mariners took over first place in the American League West. It's possible that the Mariners are heading in a completely new direction with a brand new CEO, a new general manager (Jerry Dipoto), and a new manager (Scott Servais) this season. What could be very interesting to see and entirely indicative of a new direction is if the team makes moves to improve the roster before the MLB trade deadline rolls around. That might be tangible proof for fans to grasp. Can the Mariners stay in contention with the current roster, though?
There are additional Seattle Mariners rumors about the team possibly getting moved to a new city, but those rumors don't have any corroboration. The Mariners have a relatively new stadium in Safeco Field that is routinely ranked among the best in Major League Baseball. The franchise also turns a profit most seasons, despite not ranking among the top teams when it comes to wins or playoff success. There is no tangible reason to feel that the Mariners are going to move following this sale, especially with most of the ownership group maintaining local ties.
As with all team sales and ownership shifts, the transaction still has to be approved by the other MLB owners. At this point, though, it appears to only be a formality as there are no vocal plans to either move or alter the franchise. While there could be a different mindset in the front office and how the team does business, the new ownership group appears to have the fans in mind.
There will be a lot of debate in the coming days and weeks about whether these moves will shift how the franchise does business. Fans have long wanted more involvement from the ownership group, which would include attending games and putting a "face" out there for the franchise. More Seattle Mariners rumors will follow as to what might happen next, but that likely won't happen until new CEO and minority owner John Stanton gets a feel for his role.
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