Yankees, Red Sox Matchup In London Could Happen


As the Yankees and Red Sox prepare to renew their 117-year-old rivalry, the two organizations are in talks to potentially play a series in London in 2018.

First, it was the NFL expanding its territory to London, England – and now it seems MLB may be on its was across the pond too. According to a report by Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, Red Sox owner John Henry and Yankees co-owner, Hal Steinbrenner have been in talks for the past few years about the possibility of the two storied franchises playing a series of games on foreign soil.

Due to alterations in the new collective bargaining agreement, there is a clause that states Major League Baseball and its players must compete in multiple international destinations – with one city being named specifically — London.

Parts of the new CBA have still yet to be discerned, but from what most people in baseball circles understand is that it’s likely the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets will play in London at least once over the five-year span of the CBA.

While there are still plenty of details to work out for this neutral site affair, especially when it comes to arranging an agreement between the MLBPA and commissioners office, it does seem the front offices of both the Yankees and Red Sox are already on board.

Through email, Yankees President Randy Levine expressed much optimism.

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“The Yankees have been at the forefront of suggesting that we bring the great game of baseball to London,” said Levine. “There have been some meaningful attempts to do so, and we are hopeful and confident that we can play there soon. Playing the Red Sox in London would be a special and unique event.”

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy echoed those sentiments: “It would be great to play the Yankees in London. We would really like to do it.”

But before you book you airfare to London, MLB will need to establish a plan to recoup the loss of gate fare for each club. While corporate sponsorship is typically the answer for large-scale spending, especially considering that the Yankees own their own television network, Rob Manfred and company will need to get creative in terms of scheduling due to longer than usual travel times, much like the NFL does — when implementing a bye week for returning teams from Europe.

Chris Park, MLB’s senior vice president of growth, strategy and international says that MLB is currently busy getting ready for the World Baseball Classic in March, but once that has concluded, he fully expects work to full begin on this next experiment.

“The commissioner is very open-minded about finding creative ways to stage the very best events that fit our overall objectives at a given time and place,” said Park.

For those wondering why the Red Sox, Yankees and not the Cubs, Indians is the likely initial matchup – remember, John Henry and the Fenway Group are the same folks that own Liverpool F.C…

While many Liverpool supporters are still sour about an American owning a historic British football club, it does give Henry’s Red Sox an advantage to playing in front of the Queen before anyone else.

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Besides, would you really expect the Red Sox to play anyone besides the Yankees in a momentous occasion such as this?