Are the MLB's Washington Nationals still for sale?

Washington DC - Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals are no longer for sale after nearly two years available without a deal, principal owner Mark Lerner said on Monday.

Owner Mark Lerner of the Washington Nationals has said the team is no longer for sale.
Owner Mark Lerner of the Washington Nationals has said the team is no longer for sale.  © MITCHELL LAYTON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Lerner told the Washington Post on Monday during pre-season training in Florida that his family will continue to own the team, and a Nationals spokesperson later confirmed the comments.

"We have determined, our family has determined, that we are not going to sell the team," Lerner told the Post.

"Nothing has really changed. We've just decided that it's not the time or the place for it. We're very happy owning the team and bringing us back a (championship) ring one day."

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The Lerner family have owned the Nationals since 2006, buying the club from MLB for $450 million after the franchise had been relocated to the US capital from Montreal after the 2004 campaign.

Under the Lerners' tenure, the Nationals have reached the playoffs five times, losing in their first round four times before capturing the 2019 World Series.

Since then, however, the Nationals have endured four consecutive losing seasons and traded away major talent, including Juan Soto, Trea Turner, and pitcher Max Scherzer.

Baltimore Orioles sold for massive sum

The announcement comes three weeks after the nearby Baltimore Orioles agreed to be sold to businessman David Rubenstein for $1.725 billion, a deal that must still be approved by MLB club owners.

The Orioles own the Nationals' local television rights under a deal made during the relocation into the region, one that remains locked in a legal fight.

Cover photo: MITCHELL LAYTON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

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