Jeb Bush has dropped out of the race for the Miami Marlins, the AP reports. The ex-presidential candidate and former Florida governor is no longer interested in buying the Marlins and has ended his pursuit of the team, two people close to the negotiations said Tuesday. One of the people said former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who had been part of Bush's group, is still exploring a bid with other investors. Jeter becomes the frontman for an investment group competing with a group led by businessman Tagg Romney, son of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The Romney group includes Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine and former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart.
Earlier this month, Commissioner Rob Manfred said the Romney and Bush-Jeter groups were relatively even in their price offers. Both bid about $1.3 billion to buy the team from Jeffrey Loria, who bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry. Four weeks ago, Bush said he was optimistic he could close the deal. But one of the people confirming Bush's withdrawal said he didn't put up enough of his own money to have the controlling interest he sought. (Read more Miami Marlins stories.)