Spring Training 2024: Washington Nationals are no longer for sale, principal owner Mark Lerner says

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals are no longer for sale, ending a search for a new owner after the team was on the market for nearly two years.

Principal owner Mark Lerner told The Washington Post on Monday during spring training in West Palm Beach, Florida, that his family “has determined that we are not going to sell the team.” A Nationals spokesperson confirmed the Post’s report.

The Lerner family, which has owned the team since buying it from MLB in 2006, began exploring a potential sale in April 2022. Mark Lerner assumed control from his father, Ted, in 2018, and Ted Lerner died in February 2023 at age 97.

The Lerners keeping the team comes weeks after businessman David Rubenstein reached an agreement to buy the nearby Baltimore Orioles for $1.725 billion. The sale is subject to a full vote of MLB ownership and must receive 75% approval.

As part of the deal to move the Montreal Expos to Washington in 2005, the Orioles own the Nationals’ local television rights — an issue that is still being litigated in court.

The Nationals have finished in last place in the NL East each of the past four seasons since winning the World Series in 2019, the organization’s first championship.

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AP National Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.

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