According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Chandler Rome, the Rays would have multiple potential buyers if the club decided to sell, as groups both local to the Tampa Bay area and outside buyers looking to relocate the franchise to one of the cities that could be a potential candidate for league expansion. Rosenthal and Rome note one specific suitor: Dan Doyle Jr., CEO of local company DEX Imaging. Despite the interest, the Rays are still primarily focused on a new ballpark in the Tampa Bay area, per the duo.
As Rosenthal and Rome note, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has previously indicated that expansion wouldn’t be considered until the A’s and Rays have resolved their ongoing stadium issues and that fees could end up well above $2 billion. Given these factors, it’s understandable why groups with interest in ownership of a hypothetical expansion team would also look into purchasing the Rays, which Rosenthal and Rome notes would be expected to sell for less than the expected expansion fee.
The interest gives Rays ownership plenty of options as they attempt to secure a ballpark in either Tampa or St. Petersburg prior to the expiration of their lease at Tropicana Field, which will occur following the 2027 season. If the Rays were to relocate out of Tampa, Rosenthal and Rome note that the locality would likely become an immediate contender for expansion. Of course, the Rays currently seem to be making good progress on plans for a new ballpark in the area, including support from St. Petersburg mayor Ken Welch. While the progress in recent months is surely encouraging for Rays fans, Rosenthal and Rome still indicate that the Rays will keep their options open if they’re unable to securing funding for a ballpark in the Tampa Bay area, up to and including the possibility of a sale.