MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was in Mexico this week to meet with baseball officials there, and it appears the addition of an MLB team south of the border is a possibility. If MLB were to expand, it could consider expanding into Mexico, Manfred tells Maury Brown of Forbes. “We see Mexico as an opportunity internationally,” says Manfred. “We also think a team in Mexico and a larger number of Mexican players in the big leagues could really help us continue to grow the Hispanic market in the United States.”
Expansion into Mexico is not likely to happen immediately, however, Manfred tells MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. Manfred says he would like to start by having exhibition and Spring Training games in Mexico. (He toured a new stadium in Culiacan this week and says he’s excited to have exhibition games there.) MLB would then progress to having occasional regular-season games in Mexico before settling on a location for a full-time MLB team. In the meantime, MLB will open an office in Mexico City next year. “The prospects of having a Major League team here in Mexico are realistic. The difficult issue is the time frame,” Manfred says.
In his interview with Brown, Manfred also notes that MLB could add a team or teams in the US, and that Montreal is interested in having a team again. Television territories would not be a significant obstacle to expansion, Manfred says, as long as the new teams aren’t too close to existing ones. If MLB were to expand to 32 franchises, teams would continue to play 162-game schedules, but would be realigned in eight four-team divisions, Manfred says, noting that would actually make scheduling easier.
This isn’t the first time Manfred has suggested that expansion into Mexico or Canada could be a possibility. “Mexico and Canada present the most fertile ground just in terms of the level of baseball interest and the proximity to our existing franchises,” Manfred told Frederic Daigle of the Canadian Press in March. He voiced similar sentiments in an interview with Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times in February. He told Daigle that he was more interested in expansion than in relocating an existing franchise, although he did not rule out the possibility of relocation.
This would be wonderful
Do better and make peace with castro and brother to allow the Cubans to form a pair of MLB teams out of what MLB owners haven’t yet pilfered of talent there.
Baseball has always been the main and only sport in Cuba. it would draw 10’s of thousands per game without jacked up ticket prices, none of those yankee stadium 1 seat taking up the space of 2-3 etc..
Build a couple of MLB class stadiums with regular seating and by that I mean 1970’s style seats and they could sell out, promote and do 5x better than any team in mexico.
The jacked up ticket prices are one of the ways by which the players and teams are able to make so much money. Without high prices the other teams would have to subsidize the Cuban teams, and I sort of feel like MLB wouldn’t go out of its way to expand in order to create such a situation.
It’s a nice idea, given the influx of Cuban talent. However, it would essentially kill the current Cuban league. And that’s ignoring the elephant in the room, which is the median monthly income in Cuba, which is sitting around $20 a month. They’d have trouble filling up opening week, let alone 81 home games.
So you think Mexico can afford to pay those “jacked up” prices then? or for that matter.. Any Caribbean country?
Fact is that Cuba has always been one of the hotbeds of baseball. It would draw massive support from the entire population, just as it did before it became so oppressed. Read your history I say to the generation(s) too young to remember. Baseball would become once again a national coming together, like soccer is to places like Argentina. Brazil…
Bud Norris’s comments were so ignorant and infuriating to read. A simple wikipedia search of “Baseball in Cuba” would show you that their first league was created in 1870. Baseball is also considered the main team sport in Japan, Dominican Republic, Venezuela & Puerto Rico. Sorry Bud, baseball isn’t “America’s game” its plenty of other countries’ game too.
I’m with you on Japan also and have mentioned adding a team (or 2) there before also, only issue there would be travel and getting reaclimated after long travel to and from each locale/country that there would probably have to be at least 2 teams created to make travel ‘worth it” for time’s sake and scheduling worked out with maybe 2 days off after the trip for a team.
Well I’m not in favor of adding that long flight there to the league, I was merely pointing out that there’s more than one nation on earth where baseball is considered the main sport and its people are obsessed by it – and in the case of the Latin nations, even more obsessed with it than Americans.
I’d be happy with an a series between the World Series champions and the Japan League Champions. Have it take place during November. That way they would have plenty of time for travel time.
TV Revenue is bigger than stadium revenue for many (maybe most) teams.
The highest priced ticket in Comerica Park is under $100. You can get a good ticket there for $25. However, their ratings were #2 in share in the MLB at their peak in 2012-3.
Not all teams are that high. Places (terrible ones, albeit) like Tampa have MANY that are less than 10.00. Decent ones are less than 20.00.
All teams are not the Yankees/Red Sox/Giants/LAD and half dozen more that practice in gouging the fans, plus have great tv deals.
That would be very difficult. What happens when a player is traded there from America? It’s a whole different culture and political system. I mean the logistics of Mexico or Cuba would be very hard. Mexico is also pretty dangerous because of the drug war. If MLB thought Las Vegas was shady….
It would certainly be interesting. Very arguably, the presence of MLB in Mexico could serve as a contributing factor to ameliorating the narcotics problem, or at least marginalizing it. Cuba would also be interesting…..but the gov’t would have to demonstrate that its economy was at least somewhat ‘open’ prior to MLB committing.
They would struggle with free agency as well the team would struggle to compete. We need to take care of the A’s and Rays situations long before considering expansion any where, and we need to look at our own markets first, Baseball may not be ours as people say but MLB certainly is ours.
There is your answer to the 2 teams to move already.. Failing clubs financially and at the gate.
owners are having to kick in money to keep them afloat as it is.. Cut WAY back on the subsidizing of other low to no market teams for say… 5-6 years and help the 2 newly relocated teams to Cuba get settled in.. Imagine teams give Loria only a cpl mill per year in revenue sharing, same with 6-8 other small market teams they could afford to kick in 20m a year to those 2 teams, or better? How about taking say 5% of whatever each teams’s tv revenue is for 5 seasons and splitting that with the 2 new teams?
FA? Might be tricky, but not trades. Don’t want to play there? Plenty of other jobs in this country.. Go apply for one making league minimum.. Heh.. Lets see how many quit MLB over a trade…
The A’s turn a profit every year, they just need a new stadium in Oakland or San Jose, which with the Warriors moving, will soon happen.
I am really interested to see if this will happen.
I’d love to see some more teams in MLB. It added a lot of excitement to the season when the last four came in even when I wasn’t going to be a fan of any of them. It adds an intriguing uncertainty to the first few seasons of what to expect of them and how they could effect standing.
It’s not as if MLB couldn’t afford a few more teams. Perhaps spread around some of the money and help justify this ridiculous second wild card.
Love it. Hope it happens.
Fantastic, add one team from Mexico and another in Cuba and balance the leagues so we can finally see an end to tired, boring, stupid, played-out interleague.
I don’t see why everyone hates interleague?
Why do people want to see the Dodgers play the Rockies 19 times a year, but they are against seeing the Dodgers playing the Yankees for 3 games?
I don’t want to see that either. I want a balanced schedule and no divisional play. Just one big 15 (or more) team league where every team plays every other team the same amount of games home and away. It can even be done by adding 6 games to the schedule if every team plays every other team in the league 6 times at home and 6 times away (2 3-game series at home and away), that would mean each team plays 12 games against 14 teams, 12×14=168. The playoffs can just be the top 5, 6 or 7 or however big the league wants it. But at least we will know for sure who is the best team, not some scrub team with an easy schedule who will make the playoffs then get swept out in the first round like we see now.
I hate watching pitchers bat and interleague games thrust that on my AL home team x_x
Also, intradivisional play is what makes standings exciting.
It would be equally exciting if we did away with divisions and just let the top say, 6 teams in the playoffs, with teams 5+6 obviously dealing with teams 7-8+ battling to get in, like it is now.
No offense, but no big market player outside of some latinos are going to want to call Mexico their home city. Mlb is better served looking north of border. Way too much bs going on in mexico for the majority of guys to want to even think about playing there unless its literally 5 minutes from the border. Any team there would be a complete disaster. Until mexico can prove to be safe, n trust me i know how much bs goes on there since i live only 30 min from border, canada is only logical place to expand outside of adding new US teams, which she be first move for any expansion.
Hugely xenophobic post. Stop it, no one cares about bringing back the stupid Expos.
2 bad comments back to back!
well, you must admit, right now it’s kinda’ hard to sell anywhere in Mexico as a great place to raise a family, especially to a player who’s got a choice of playing there or somewhere in the US.
The Expos are dead, though. They couldn’t even get a local TV deal in their final days in Montreal
I am sure there are plenty on people in Montreal that would like a second chance at having a MLB team. Which Mexican city do you think has the best combination of population and wealth to support an MLB team. Would the Mexican cities be willing to build stadiums for the team since MLB wouldn’t want to finance it themselves?
i’m sure there are many Expos fans still in Montreal and i feel bad for them… but just because they’re loyal doesn’t mean there’s enough of them to support a franchise. You need a lot of casual fans to fill the seats over a long season.
honestly i think Mexico’s as much a pipe dream for Manfred and London is for Roger Goodell. Sounds great from a purely marketing standpoint, but logistically unfeasible for a lot of very obvious reasons.
Did you just hear that word in a sociology class and want to show off your new skills?
Seriously? Such a stupid comment.
I didnt mean for it to come off as an attack on mexico. I know there are cities that arent full of corruption, but why would any player, especially big market free agent, want to play there n live in that city. Im just looking at it from a player pov. Expand within US n canada. I know many US cities would love a mlb team n would fit in nicely. Sorry if i came off as rude, i was just trying to be realistic.
Has Manfred considered the cost of living? The average Mexican resident makes about 30% of what the average American makes (it costs less than $250 American dollars per month to rent an apartment or house). How would the team stay afloat? They’d have to charge around $9 a ticket. They certainly couldn’t sign free agents, etc. Is MLB going to “help” them financially? Then why not help the Brewers, Marlins, etc? I would rather see baseball return to Montreal above any other idea.
Not to mention pretty much no players are going to want to play there.The players union would probably be against it. Mexico is nowhere near as safe as America or Canada. The amount of resources that would have to go into security would be insane.
Insane racism/xenophobia suddenly in this thread. America is as violent and “unsafe” as any country that would want to have a MLB team.
If you havent actually been to Mexico, please refrain from posting about how “safe” you think it is.
Dude, the Mexican army is literally fighting a war against drug gangs. A lot of Mexicans don’t trust their own police forces because they’re so corrupt. People get assassinated regularly. Mexico has been one of the most violent countries in the world for the past few years.
Now, that violence doesn’t affect all of Mexico. There are plenty of places that will be safe. But you can’t just blindly charge into a place where mass graves are being dug, even if it only happens once or twice a year.
Think about how people reacted to people smashing a few store windows in Baltimore. Way crazier stuff is going on in Mexico, and that’s a fact. I’s not racist to talk about that. You need to talk about it so that people know it’s happening and can get motivated to do something to stop it.
Also, immigrating is hard. Latin players didn’t feel comfortable in the US when they first started coming here, and the same would be true in reverse for some dude from Biloxi all of a sudden moving to Mexico City.
1. Yes, there are “wars”, just like there are “wars” here in Detroit, Atlanta, Missouri etc. Mexico is a huge country and people in this thread seem to want to act like the one negative part of it is the entire nation, its so xenophobic and racist it disgusts me. Yes I have been to Mexico and all I could think was how easily a team could exist there.
2. The % of MLB players who actually live in the city where they’re employed is tiny. Most live in AZ no matter what team they play for. No one from Biloxi is uprooting their lives and families so they can live in Mexico for 81-90ish days of the year. Obviously MLB players would be staying in 5 star secure hotels.
You don’t even know what the words “xenophobic” and “racist” mean, Your facts are just wrong. Do you know what war is? 80,000 people have died since 2006. Thats crazy. You don’t see the United States army in the streets of Detroit but you do see Mexican armies throughout Mexico. Just because someone thinks a place is unsafe does not make it racist. Mexicos crime rate is very high and its very poor compared to Western nations thats facts. Yes those 5 star hotels might be ” secure” but you need a lot of security at games and such. The Mexican police is very corrupt. Visitors will be targets of crime. You are so ignorant its unreal. I’m glad you have been to Mexico but that doesnt mean anything. The major cites ( where the team would go) are much more unsafe then Detroit.
you don’t seem to grasp that racism must be motivated by irrational feelings towards a people or country. it’s kind of a fact that a lot of cities in Mexico aren’t considered safe enough for tourists by the US Government at the moment
CJ, your politically correct rant contradicts reality. Check out these stats.
Homicide rate per 100,000:
United States: 4.5
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Yes, and Mexico isnt the size of NYC like you all seem to be wanting to be. Its massive and there are areas that are nicer than anywhere. Those are the areas Manfred is probably thinking about, not where the drug lords are.
Gang violance is all over Mexico and it has a very high corruption factor which is one of the major reasons that baseball stays out of Las Vagas ( and thats really not even a factor anymore). These cartels control lots of places and have high office connections everywhere. A murder rate of four times the United States is very high.
I am greatly offended that you would call me a racist. You clearly don’t understand anything. Have YOU been to Mexico?? All people are created equal but not all nations and political systems. The United States is by far safer then Mexico. That is a fact. It is not disputable. The corruption is on a whole another level. 70-80 students were killed last year by police and gangs and they STILL don’t what happened. Mexico is pretty much at war with drug gangs and cartels. Do you think the most wanted gangster/terrorist on the continent is just going to walk out of an American jail and just disappear back to his criminal network? CJ, grow up and don’t you dare call me or anyone else here racist for stating facts that have ZERO to do with race. Over 80,000 people have died during the drug war. Mexico is not safe compared to America, Canada or other Western nations. Mexico is a developing
It’s not racist or xenophobic to assume players would prefer to play in America, nor is it racist or xenophobic for those players to prefer doing so.
MLB could consider in better integrating the AAA Mexican League with the AAA PCL and AAA INT leagues. I think that would be a better ‘first step’
I don’t think MLB can sustain 32 teams, not yet anyway.
Its bordering on being a trillion dollar industry, it could sustain 50 teams if it wanted.
Financially they could but from a player standpoint they wouldn’t have the talent base right now to add more than 2 teams. You would be seeing a lot more AAAA players on major league rosters than there are today.
and MLB might not see a problem with that
I’ll clarify and say it can’t sustain it while 1) still having some resemblance of parity 2) without clustering teams in already-filled markets and/or 3) putting teams places where they’re geographically impractical when it comes to scheduling everybody else’s road trips.
Just because the game as a whole is doing fantastic doesn’t necessarily mean there’s going to be a market or markets that are going to put 30,000 tushes in seats all summer for MLB-standard prices.
Why do you think “tushes in seats all summer for MLB-standard prices” are important here? Skyrocketing TV deals mean teams don’t even have to have anyone come to the actual game. MLB makes money other than ticket sales, I can’t believe I have to point this out on here.
You really gotta stop making up facts.
Per Forbes: “Major League Baseball Sees Record $9 Billion In Revenues For 2014”
That’s a far cry from being a trillion dollar industry.
No, I’m not making up facts, the problem is that you dont understand the difference between overall value and gate revenues?
You understand franchises themselves are worth way more than gate revenue? Take an econ class, sheesh.
There is no way that there is talent or money to sustain 50 teams at these levels. Each team is worth under a billion each beside for a couple.
Do you just make things up as you go along? MLB Is no where near a trillion dollar industry.
Yes, it absolutely is. The umbrella of MLB stretches worldwide and sustains many, many other corporations.
Having a team in Mexico sounds good on the surface, but it would kill some, not all of course, Mexican League teams and that would be a shame.
Then there’s the matter of talent worthy of being in major league ball. The talent pool is already stretched thin as it is. MLB already pulls in players from around the world now and there are still AAA & AAAA players in the majors that don’t belong there. Adding 2 more teams just makes it more difficult to fill rosters with viable players.
The third problem is the travel. Putting a team in Mexico, Cuba or Puerto Rico adds many more miles for teams to travel.
Personally, i’d rather see MLB contract 2 teams rather than add 2 more. I know that’s not a very popular idea among many fans, nor is it popular among the brass of MLB or the MLBPA. But we have 2 teams that can’t get new park deals where they are already. We have 7 teams this season that didn’t even draw 2 million fans. Tampa barely cleared 1.2 million.
If you must keep 30 teams, then move the Rays to Montreal and the A’s to Portland, Oregon. Florida can’t support 2 teams because a big percentage of those folks that live there moved from other areas that have life long fandom of other teams. The nonsense with the A’s not getting a new ballpark has gone on long enough. Portland wants and could support a team. Plus, the travel issues would be somewhat alleviated having another team in the Northwest. No longer would teams have to fly to Seattle to play a 3 game set and then turn around and make another long trek 3 days later in most cases. Both teams could then be kept in the divisions they are already in, so no restructuring would be needed.
You are severely underestimating how much Mexico loves baseball. Mexico could sustain a MLB team and all its other leagues and in fact, more indy leagues might pop up if MLB had a huge presence there.
The talent pool is in no way “stretched thin”. Baseball is getting more popular worldwide with every year. Look no further than the influx of KBO players coming. There’s many nations with professional leagues, as time goes on we will continue to see influxes from other nations.
A’s to Portland? Get out. Portland is a pathetic sports town and absolutely do not deserve a MLB team. San Jose deserves a MLB team as they have the population and money. The Rays need to move there and the Bay needs 3 teams as SJ isn’t connected to SF+Oak via public transport.
So then tell me, if the talent isn’t stretched thin, then how come we are seeing guys like Lavarnway, Ruf, Bourjos and on and on continue to get shots or when well past their prime players like Bourn, DeJesus, Ross and on and on stick around? You are severely overestimating the talent pool.
If you believe that there is going to be this huge wave of good to elite players come over from the KBO, then i’m guessing you thought the same thing about Japan as well.
Just because Mexico loves baseball doesn’t mean it can support more and bigger. You talk like the typical business owner that over expands and subsequently has to have closings and layoffs.
Moving the Rays to San Jose is both senseless and reckless. The Giants already don’t want the A’s moving there because they believe it infringes on their territory. The Giants & A’s both would block that move, so get over it.
Last, but not least, Portland would be a great place for baseball for the very reasons i’ve already stated.
Mexico may love baseball but there will not be an MLB team until the political and economic situation stabilize
Why not go back to Puerto Rico?
Okay, my response went to the wrong post, it’s intended for the conversation above this post!
Wonder what Donald Trump will have to say about that? Why not Puerto Rico?