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About Peter Freund

Peter Freund is the principal owner of Trinity Baseball Holdings and a minority owner of the New York Yankees.

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Latest Peter Freund News

One company is buying up as much of baseball’s minor leagues as it can. Why?

Jan 11, 2024

Peter Freund’s been deftly fielding questions about the whos, whats, and whys of Diamond Baseball Holdings for a while. He offers details about the business strategy of the minor-league baseball conglomerate that now owns three of the four Red Sox affiliates, among the 29 (of 120 total minor-league franchises) it either owns or has announced an intent to acquire.. In almost every response to wonky questions about economies of scale, synergies, and sharing of best practices, Freund slips in the same point, one intended especially for Worcester fans: DBH may own the team, but the WooSox are still in charge of running it. Advertisement “Did I mention that it’s still the Red Sox, it’s still Triple A, and nobody’s leaving?” said Freund, laughing. “It’s going to be the same!” Freund, the CEO, and Pat Battle, executive chairman, formed DBH in the wake of Major League Baseball’s momentous takeover , reorganization, and contraction of Minor League Baseball in February 2021. Get 108 Stitches A newsletter about everything baseball from the Globe's Red Sox reporters, delivered weekdays during the season and weekly offseason. Enter Email Sign Up Freund already was a minor-league owner when MLB commissioner Rob Manfred brought him in to consult on that transition. Even before the sale of his family’s packaging business, Freund — alongside his father, John, a minority owner of the New York Yankees — had started to buy a couple of minor-league teams, beginning with the Charleston RiverDogs. When the family business was sold, “I was like, ‘This is what I want to do full time, I just want to run minor league baseball teams,’” Freund said. He and DBH are running a lot of them. The club owned and operated 10 teams in 2022, added 11 more last season and next season will be running29 teams. Its roster will include affiliates of 16 of the 30 MLB clubs, including all four of Atlanta’s and two each from the Yankees, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Rangers, and Cardinals. Freund said MLB has imposed a cap of 50 teams, with no more than 14 at each of the four minor-league classifications. Advertisement The DBH corporate team totals approximately 30, with another 550-plus employees spread out among the 29 teams. DBH, Freund said, has replaced only one general manager. One team name has changed — the High-A Rome (Georgia) Braves are now the Rome Emperors — and the Texas Rangers’ High-A Down East Wood Ducks will relocate from Kinston, N.C. to Spartanburg, S.C., after this season, with a name change in store for them, too. Freund and Battle stick to what they know worked in a business that, especially in smaller cities, is hyper-local like few others. “When we go in, we know that that GM that’s in that town is the guy at the Rotary Club,’' said Freund. “He’s the guy giving back to the community. He’s the person that’s meeting all the partners and the sponsors. So it’s really important for us that that remains intact on the local level.” DBH wants its teams to keep their focus on providing the best experience for fans, players, and their parent teams. As to how that will impact the WooSox, who play in a ballpark that’s been open for only three seasons, Freund wants to expand the presence of Polar Park in Worcester, not shrink it or re-shape it to fit a corporate template. Advertisement “Making sure that we are activating the ballpark for more than just baseball, to be the cornerstone of the community,” Freund said. “That’s the piece that we bring at DBH.” Freund said many of its ballparks are offering assorted holiday and winter events, including ice skating rinks, Santa Claus visits, and holiday light shows, along with making the ballpark available for corporate and school events, concerts, comedy shows, and, of course, the Savannah Bananas troupe, which is already booked for 20 DBH ballparks ( as well as Fenway Park ) next summer. “We will bring concerts to that stadium,” said Freund, noting Polar Park has yet to host one. “And it’s more than that. We’ll bring people who maybe haven’t even been in that stadium because they didn’t come for a baseball game, but they could come for a high school championship game, a college game — all that stuff. We want to do it all.” Bourne High won the MIAA Division 5 state championship at Polar Park in Worcester in June of 2023.Mark Stockwell for The Boston Globe Freund expressed full faith in the current WooSox leadership team’s ability to handle Polar Park’s increased usage. “We’re not coming into Worcester to try to fix it — there’s nothing to fix there. It’s been Larry [Lucchino, chairman], Charles [Steinberg, president], Dan [Rea, general manager and executive VP of business and real estate], that whole team has done a spectacular job,” said Freund. “We can’t wait to actually expand their roles within DBH. Each club that we buy, we get this amazing talent that we didn’t have before.” Advertisement Geoff Iacuessa, president and general manager of the Double A Portland Sea Dogs, confessed he wasn’t sure what was in store prior to DBH closing on the team a year ago. “One of the first questions I asked was ‘What’s going to happen with the staff?’ and they reassured me they were keeping the entire staff and wanted us to continue to do business as usual as we do, day-in and day-out,” said Iacuessa. “Obviously, over time, that proves out. We’re a year in now, and that’s proved out.” Deploying the internal enhancements in DBH tech and customer relationship systems deepens ties to local sponsors, vendors, and fans. DBH’s bulk purchasing power lowers its costs. The presence of DBH is supposed to be invisible. There is no external gloss over a trusted local brand like the Sea Dogs. “As they said, ‘What works great in Portland might not work great somewhere else and vice versa,’” said Iacuessa. “That doesn’t mean you can’t share ideas. We’re a very local business and DBH has a good grasp of that.” Fans at Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs, occasionally get to see major leaguers on rehab assignments, including Red Sox shortstop Trevor Story in July of 2023.Carl D. Walsh for The Boston Globe DBH bought the Single A Salem Red Sox in late March, not much more than a month before the season started. Rather than rush the team into implementing DBH tools, “they were passionate that they wanted to keep everything as was for the season, that they didn’t want to get in the way by throwing a lot of different things at us,” said Salem Red Sox general manager Allen Lawrence. The team has since started to adopt some of DBH’s internal tools, resources Lawrence calls “tremendous.” Advertisement “We’re still getting more and more of them,” he said. “They want to give us all the things we need to succeed.” Freund said DBH is not in discussion about the Red Sox’ last privately owned affiliate, the Single-A Greenville Drive. “It’s not that we wouldn’t be [interested] but they’re not on our radar right now.” As far as the Red Sox ever moving an affiliate back to Lowell’s LeLacheur Park, Freund said there’s no territorial issue, with Polar Park about a 45-minute drive away. But given where MLB’s stadium compliance standards are, “what it would take to upgrade [LeLacheur] would be a pretty heavy lift. “ ‘We’re not moving an affiliated team to Lowell’ is sort of the official answer, but we’re open to always considering whatever’s best for the Red Sox,” said Freund. That sounds as if it bodes well for the WooSox. “If you’re a Worcester fan and you’re nervous, I think you should give DBH a shot,” said Iacuessa. “You’re going to find that the product they’ve come to expect when they come to the game is not going to change. It’s going to evolve, but it’s not going to change. They’re not going to disrupt that.” Freund couldn’t have said it much better. And he would say it again. Diamond Baseball Holdings teams A look at baseball clubs owned by DBH or under agreement to be purchased by DBH. Triple-A: Worcester Red Sox (Red Sox); Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees); Gwinnett Stripers (Atlanta Braves); Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs); Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals); Oklahoma City Dodgers (Los Angeles Dodgers); St. Paul Saints (Minnesota Twins); Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies); Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles); Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) Double-A: Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox); New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays); Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates); Mississippi Braves (Atlanta Braves); Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox); Midland Rockhounds (Oakland A’s); Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals); Tulsa Drillers (LA Dodgers); Wichita Wind Surge (Minnesota Twins) Single-A: Salem Red Sox (Boston Red Sox); Hudson Valley Renegades (New York Yankees); San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants); Rome Braves (Atlanta Braves); Augusta GreenJackets (Atlanta Braves); Down East Wood Ducks (Texas Rangers); Vancouver Canadians (Toronto Blue Jays); Fresno Grizzlies (Colorado Rockies); Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers); Lansing Lugnuts (Oakland A’s) Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com .

Peter Freund Portfolio Exits

1 Portfolio Exit

Peter Freund has 1 portfolio exit. Their latest portfolio exit was Memphis Redbirds on December 09, 2021.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

12/9/2021

Acquired - II

$99M

2

Date

12/9/2021

Exit

Acquired - II

Companies

Valuation

$99M

Acquirer

Sources

2

Peter Freund Acquisitions

1 Acquisition

Peter Freund acquired 1 company. Their latest acquisition was Memphis Redbirds on March 08, 2016.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

3/8/2016

Debt

$99M

$0.68M

Corporate Majority

1

Date

3/8/2016

Investment Stage

Debt

Companies

Valuation

$99M

Total Funding

$0.68M

Note

Corporate Majority

Sources

1

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