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not NOT up for sale

The Washington Nationals could be going up for sale

The owners of the Washington, D.C. baseball team the Washington Nationals revealed to The Washington Post on Monday they'd begun exploring possible changes in the club's ownership structure, "including the possibility of selling the team," the Post reports.

Mark D. Lerner, son of real estate tycoon Ted Lerner and the club's managing principal owner, said the family has brought on a New York investment bank to look into possible investors and buyers for the club. The Lerners bought the Nationals from Major League Baseball 16 years ago.

"This is an exploratory process, so there is no set timetable or expectation of a specific outcome," Mark Lerner said in a statement. "The organization is as committed as ever to their employees, players, fans, sponsors and partners and to putting a competitive product on the field."

"As revenue streams around professional sports continue to evolve and the strength of the Washington Nationals brand continues to grow, the team believes it is prudent to assess all of the options out there," team spokesperson Jennifer Giglio told the Post, noting as well that the Lerners could ultimately just bring on additional partners.

The process is also not expected to impact "the team's ability to make baseball decisions," nor will it "distract the organization from our goal of being a first-class organization and fielding a winning team," Giglio added.

Under Lerner ownership, "the Nationals have claimed four division titles and five postseason appearances," writes CBS Sports. In 2019, the team won its first World Series in franchise history. Prior to the family's purchase, the club had moved from Montreal to D.C., and changed its name from the Expos to the Nationals.

In March, the MLB and the MLB Players Associated finally reached a deal on a collective bargaining agreement, bringing an end to a months-long lockout.