Royals owner David Glass has agreed to sell the club to an ownership group headed by Kansas City businessman John Sherman for $1 billion, according to USA Today reporter Bob Nightengale. Reports that Glass was in talks with Sherman on the sale of the club was reported earlier this week by Jayson Stark and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. According to Nightengale, the deal will become official in November when the sale will need to ratified by other MLB owners.
Update: The Royals have officially announced the deal.
Official statement regarding the sale of the club. pic.twitter.com/F9QS37K2CU— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) August 30, 2019
Sherman has been part of the Cleveland Indians ownership group since 2016, and will need to sell his share to buy the Royals. According to reporter Jon Heyman, Sherman owns a 30 percent stake in the Indians. Sherman is a Kansas City native and a Royals season-ticket holder who calls baseball his “passion.” He has been an entrepreneur who started two energy companies and has been involved as a civic philanthropist around Kansas City. It is not known who else is part of his ownership group, although Sporting Kansas City owner Cliff Illig has denied he is part of negotiations for the sale of the club.
David Glass has owned the Royals since 2000, when he purchased the team for $96 million. Before that he had been the chairman and CEO of the Royals since 1993 directing the club as they looked for a buyer following the death of Ewing and Muriel Kauffman. According to Nightengale, David Glass’s urgency to sell the club related to health reasons.
Sherman has already been vetted by MLB as a minority owner with the Indians, so approval should be a forgone conclusion. Having a quick process should help for a smooth transition, and the timing helps as the Royals head into an off-season in which they will likely look to improve on what could be their second consecutive 100-loss season. There are still plenty of unanswered questions on what this sale means for Dayton Moore and Ned Yost, what direction Sherman will take this club, and whether or not they will stay at the Truman Sports Complex or move to a downtown stadium when their lease expires in 2031, but the franchise will continue to have a stable ownership situation unlike in the years before Glass purchased the team in 2000.