Independent baseball team might move to Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — The owners of the El Paso Diablos, an independent league baseball team, are considering moving the team to Joplin.

The team's general manager, WLD Suarez Baseball, made a presentation Monday night to the Joplin City Council, which voted to continue negotiations.

The Diablos are asking the city to renovate and lease Joe Becker Stadium to the team. Suarez executive vice president Matt LeBranche told The Joplin Globe ( ) that the team estimates the city would have to spend $5.9 million to bring the stadium up to professional standards.

The Diablos used to be the Springfield Cardinals until becoming independent in 2004. The team is part of the American Association of Independent Baseball, and plays such teams as the Kansas City T-Bones and the Wichita Wingnuts.