— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) December 6, 2017
Rogers Communications, the Canadian telecommunications company that owns the Toronto Blue Jays, is considering a possible sale of the team, as Natalie Wong of Bloomberg writes. At this point, it seems the potential move is merely in the conceptual stage.
Rogers CFO Tony Staffieri suggests that the entity is pondering the sale in order to raise funds for other initiatives. Other significant Rogers investments are also under consideration for sale, so it seems the broader strategic considerations are driving the company more than any particular consideration tied to the ballclub.
That said, there’s little doubt that Rogers is also aware of the potential to lock in a massive gain on its initial purchase of the Jays. Back in 2000, an eighty percent stake cost just $112MM. Given that a struggling Marlins franchise just went for $1.2B, it stands to reason that Canada’s only MLB team — a marketing juggernaut with excellent attendance figures even in losing seasons and robust profitability in winning campaigns — would fetch quite a bit more.
Clearly, there’s little reason to think that any sale effort is imminent, let alone a deal itself. But it’s plenty significant that ownership has floated the idea since that’ll surely function as an initial gauge of market interest and value.
In the meantime, it’s naturally fair to wonder how the higher-level business maneuverings might trickle down to the baseball operations. Perhaps the likeliest scenario, though, is to anticipate a continuation of the recent past. Even in the Marlins’ situation, the club waited to make major changes in the lead-up to the sale. Here, there’s good cause to think the Jays will continue their trajectory of attempting to contend while also being notably mindful of maintaining future financial flexibility and building up their farm.