MINNEAPOLIS — Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce mogul Marc Lore signed a letter of intent Saturday to buy the Timberwolves and keep the NBA franchise in Minnesota, owner Glen Taylor said.
The agreement, which also includes the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, opens a 30-day window for negotiations to be finalized.
Under the conditions of the deal, Taylor would keep control of the club for the next two years and bring on Rodriguez and Lore as partners until a handover in 2023.
The Athletic first reported the sale, which would be worth $1.5 billion.
Taylor, who put the teams on the market last year, said he was first approached by Rodriguez and Lore a week ago. The pair traveled to meet Taylor and his wife at their winter home in Naples, Florida. In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Taylor said he told all interested parties throughout the sale process that keeping the franchises in town was a prerequisite for purchase.
“There was no use talking to them if they didn’t agree to that,” the 79-year-old Taylor said.
Rodriguez and Lore are 50-50 partners in the deal, Taylor said. Rodriguez hit 696 home runs over 22 major league seasons, with the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. His last season on the field was 2016.
That’s the same year Lore became Walmart’s e-commerce chief, when the retail giant bought his Jet.com startup to boost online business. Lore notified Walmart on Jan. 31 of his intent to leave the company and will continue to serve in a consulting role as a strategic adviser through September.