For the first time since 1999, regular season Major League Baseball games are going to be played in Mexico. Just like then, the Padres will be involved.
San Diego will play a 3-game “home” series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey starting Friday night. This is the third time MLB has held regular season games in Mexico and every time the Padres have been involved.
The most popular man in the stadium will very likely be Christian Villanueva. The Padres 3rd baseman is a native of Guadalajara and currently the only Mexican-born player on the roster or either team. Villanueva just won the National League Rookie of the Month award after hitting eight home runs in April to lead all big league rookies.
The 19-year break between games south of the border will not be repeated. In its attempt to “grow the game internationally,” Major League Baseball plans to have six series played in Mexico over a six-year period. The Twins and Indians also played a series in Puerto Rico earlier this year, the Athletics and Mariners will open the 2019 regular season with games in Japan, and there are talks to stage regular-season games next June in England.
The sudden increase in games played abroad was really made possible through negotiations in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. MLB was adamant about playing more games outside the United States and Canada and will have other series in spots (TBD) in Asia and possibly the Dominican Republic over the next several years.
For the unique travel situation, all the players on the Padres and Dodgers will receive an additional $15,000 for making the trip to Monterrey.