The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the most popular franchises in all of baseball and professional sports as a whole, and their brand has been boosted in recent years by a stretch of National League West division titles.
The Dodgers’ reach stretches into Mexico, where their popularity is aided by Adrian Gonzalez, Julio Urias and Alex Verdugo being part of the organization. Even Andre Ethier has Mexican heritage in his bloodline. Up until recently, they also fielded a roster that included Sergio Romo.
Multiple connections make the Dodgers a natural fit to play a role in MLB expanding beyond the U.S. borders and Canada. According to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers will head to Mexico City next season for a series with the San Diego Padres:
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 Dodgers previously played in Mexico City when they faced the Red Devils in 1964, and the New York Mets in 2003, with neither instance having an impact on the standings. Los Angeles also played an exhibition series in Monterey in 1991. They played regular-season games with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014 for an Opening Series in Australia.
In 2015, Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig took part in a goodwill tour in Cuba, which was also another effort by MLB to expand the popularity of the sport.