In an effort to increase baseball’s popularity around the world, Major League Baseball plans to move 13 regular-season series to various international sites.
The Dodgers and San Diego Padres could play in Mexico City next April, as The Times reported earlier this month. That series would be the first of six planned for Mexico from 2018-21. Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he considers Mexico a candidate should the league decide to expand.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, made publicly available for the first time Friday, the commissioner’s office and the players’ union agreed to this international plan:
2018: Opening day in Asia, series in Mexico in April, series in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic in May. (The dates are flexible; the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins have been announced as the teams in a series in Puerto Rico in April.)
2019: Opening day in Asia, series in Mexico in April and May, series in the United Kingdom in June.
2020: Opening day in Asia, series in Mexico in April, series in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic in May, series in the United Kingdom in June.
2021: Series in Mexico in April, series in Mexico in May.
The league also plans a total of four spring training series in Mexico, Puerto Rico and/or the Dominican Republic from 2018-20. In addition, the league plans postseason tours to Japan after the 2018 and 2020 seasons and tours to what was listed as “Asia or Mexico” after the 2017 and 2019 seasons.
Beyond the Puerto Rico series next year, the teams selected to play in each series have not been announced.
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