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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Diamond Baseball Holdings Flexes Further With WooSox Deal

  • MiLB team holding company extends acquisition push with Boston's top affiliate.
  • WooSox have been one of the top-performing teams in the minor leagues.
Alan Arsenault / USA TODAY NETWORK

One of the most underexposed but influential sports ownership entities is accelerating its already extensive efforts in Minor League Baseball. 

Diamond Baseball Holdings, which owns 26 teams spanning all levels of MiLB, is nearing a deal to acquire the Triple-A Worcester Red Sox, the top affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The pact, estimated at about $70 million, would help reset the market for MiLB team sales, which typically go for low-to-mid eight figures.

The Worcester deal also represents one of the most prominent acquisitions in Diamond’s history. The WooSox are one of the top-drawing teams in Triple-A baseball and play in Polar Park, which opened in 2021 and is widely seen as one of MiLB’s best stadiums.

“It’s time to sell this team and to move on,” WooSox chairman and co-owner Larry Lucchino recently said on the “UnAnchored Boston” podcast.

Times Of Transition

The soon-to-be 27 teams in Diamond’s portfolio represent nearly a quarter of MiLB’s 120. But the company reportedly has ambitions to own perhaps 50 teams and has acquired four others in just the last two months. 

Diamond began operations in 2021, soon after MLB completed a historic overhaul of the affiliated minor leagues. It was originally owned by Endeavor — an arrangement that soon ran into issues, as the MLB Players Association claimed it presented a conflict of interest because Endeavor also owns talent agencies IMG and WME. 

Private equity giant Silver Lake, also the lead backer of Endeavor, ultimately purchased Diamond.

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