Long time Oakland Athletics Leader Billy Beane may soon face a difficult choice. John Henry, owner of Boston Red Sox, is in talks to sell 25 percent of Fenway Sports Group to Redball Acquisition Co., according to Brandon Kochkodin of Bloomberg. Beane is co – chairman of Redball and MLB rules prohibit him from having a stake in the Red Sox while he remains in athletics.
In 1910, MLB implemented a rule that prevented a person from owning shares in several franchises. The rule exists because the owners of the Cleveland Spiders bought the St. Louis Browns in 1899, and essentially all of the team’s best players traded to St. Louis, including the Hall of Famer Cy Young. The spiders went 20-134 that year, the worst record in MLB history.
Here’s more about potential Red Sox sales via Kochkodin:
RedBall, a special acquisition company co-chaired by Beane, raised $ 575 million including so-called greenshoe shares in a U.S. listing in August. Bloomberg reported on Friday that SPAC was in talks to acquire less than 25% of Fenway Sports Group, which it values at $ 8 billion, including debt. A successful deal will also give him a clear route to Liverpool Football Club and the English Football Premier League.
Beane, 58, joined the A-scout in 1990, after his playing career ended. He gradually climbed the front office ladder and was named the team’s general manager in 1997. Beane was promoted to president of baseball operations in 2015, and he has a small stake in athletics, hence the conflict of interest.
Tea Wall Street Journal postponements that if the deal was completed, Beane would leave baseball instead of staying in athletics or joining the Red Sox ownership group in an active role. In any case, he had to sell his share in the Red Sox or his share in Athletics. He can not keep both. Boston stake numbers are more lucrative.
The Fenway Sports Group agreement with Redball has not yet been completed, and there is no timetable for its completion.