Major League Baseball continues to spread its influence internationally by adding a series in Mexico next season.
Four years after opening the regular season in Australia, the Dodgers will be going south of the border again in 2018 - but not almost as far south this time. It will be the first series played there since 1999, when the Padres won two out of three games against the Rockies in the first-ever worldwide Opening Day.
The Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play a three-game series May 4-6 in Monterrey, Mexico, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly. Colorado beat San Diego 8-2 there in Major League Baseball's season opener on April 4, 1999, and the Padres won two of three games against the New York Mets from August 16-18, 1996. While Los Angeles won 104 games during the regular season before losing in Game 7 of the World Series to end their 2017, San Diego went 71-91 and missed the postseason for the 11th straight season.
According to the Los Angeles Times, an official announcement will come Monday. In addition, there are preliminary plans to also play games in Asia and the United Kingdom over the next few years.
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The Padres market extensively in nearby Mexico.
The Padres have been part of all three Monterrey visits - against the Colorado Rockies to open the 1999 season and in 1996, which featured the famous Ken Caminiti "Snickers" game against the New York Mets.
The Padres have one player of Mexican heritage on their 40-man roster. Gonzalez has said he hopes to play regularly next year, which could require a move to another team. Third baseman Christian Villanueva, who was born in Guadalajara, made his major league debut in September. He batted.174 in 23 at-bats. He is not expected to return by the time of the Monterrey series.
Players would reportedly receive a $15,000 bonus for participating in the series.