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MLB owners are expected to approve sale of teams

SHARE MLB owners are expected to approve sale of teams

PHOENIX — Some baseball owners are trading teams instead of players.

In what figures to be a historic meeting, owners were expected to give their approval Wednesday night to sales of the Boston Red Sox, Florida Marlins and Montreal Expos.

The biggest deal calls for a group led by John Henry, the current Marlins owner, to buy the Red Sox from the Jean R. Yawkey Trust for $660 million, the highest price ever for a baseball team.

Jeffrey Loria, the Expos' owner, would buy the Marlins from Henry for $158 million, and the other 29 teams would buy back the Expos' franchise from Loria for $120 million, leaving the commissioner's office to operate the Montreal team — which is likely to exist for one more season.

While the Red Sox have acknowledged the amount of their deal, the prices for the sales of Montreal and Florida were disclosed by a baseball official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"At this point, we have every intention of proceeding," Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief legal officer, said Tuesday. "We haven't been asked to do otherwise."

The Red Sox sale, which includes Fenway Park and 80 percent of the New England Sports Network, is controversial because the team's current owners decided to accept the offer from Henry and spurn two higher bids: $755 million from New York lawyer Miles Prentice and $750 million from Cablevision Systems Corp. chairman Charles Dolan.

Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly has interjected himself into the sale process, saying his role is to make sure charities benefitting from the Yawkey Trust get the most money they can.