Dodgers, Padres could play series in Mexico City next year
The Dodgers and San Diego Padres could play a regular-season series in Mexico City next season.
The games are tentatively scheduled for April, in the new ballpark that is the home of the Mexico City Red Devils.
The games “are anticipated being played but have not been formalized,” Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Assn., said before Sunday’s Futures Game in Miami.
The Dodgers and Padres would be natural participants in a series in Mexico City.
The Dodgers could feature first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfield prospect Alex Verdugo, who played for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, and pitcher Julio Urias, who the team hopes can return from shoulder surgery next season.
The Dodgers last played internationally in 2014, when they opened the regular season in Australia, against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Padres market extensively in nearby Mexico. Their international history includes a 1996 regular-season series in Monterrey against the New York Mets, made famous when dehydrated third baseman Ken Caminiti arose after receiving intravenous fluids, grabbed a Snickers bar and then hit two home runs.
The Padres’ ownership group includes Alfredo Harp Helu, the owner of the Red Devils.
The Dodgers twice have visited Mexico City for exhibition games, against the Red Devils in 1964 and against the Mets in 2003. They also played a two-game exhibition series in Monterrey in 1991.
Clark said logistical hurdles must be resolved before the series can be finalized. He said the players are supportive of the increased international play — in spring training, during the regular season and in postseason tours — envisioned under the new collective bargaining agreement.
“We understand wholeheartedly the desire to grow our game,” Clark said.
The MLB commissioner’s office declined to comment. The discussions first were reported Sunday by the Mexican website Puro Beisbol.
Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin
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