Foreign MLB games set for 2018-2021 in Asia, London and Mexico were announced as part of the newest five-year collective bargaining agreement released to clubs, as the sport embarks on a more aggressive worldwide push.
Foreign games have been part of the MLB game plan for years, but the games scheduled for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 certainly expand that effort. It’s already been announced that the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins will play a series at Puerto Rico’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium on April 17-18, 2018. That two-game series was jointly announced by MLB and Major League Baseball Players Association.
The additional 2018-2020 games:
- Three Asian games are specified in the collective bargaining agreement: An unspecified Asian location in 2018 and 2020, and a game in Japan in 2019. However, AP is reporting that the 2018 game is unlikely to happen, as a deal with a promoter has not been finalized.
- Mexico-based series are set for April and May between 2018 and 2021. No work on the hosting city.
- A single series in London — probably at Olympic Stadium — is set for 2019. This series has been rumored for several months, with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox front offices expressing interest in participating.
“Playing major league games abroad is critically important to growing the game internationally, and we are very pleased that the parties were able to agree on a very comprehensive international play plan in bargaining,” MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said in an email to The Associated Press….
Baseball players will receive an extra $60,000 each for regular-season trips to Asia or England, and an additional $15,000 for trips to Mexico, Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic. Each event can be one, two or three games. No games in Australia are in the works during the five-year deal, which began this season.
The deal calls for spring training trips in the next three years: two Mexico series in 2018, Mexico and either Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic in 2019 and one Mexico series in 2020. Players receive an extra $5,000 for each international spring training series. Post-World Series tours are planned for Japan in 2018 and 2020, and Asia or Mexico in 2019.
Presumably the Montreal spring-training series hosted by the Toronto Blue Jays will continue as well.
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