Dec 5, 2022 - World

Scoop: Dominican Republic snags first MLB players union office outside U.S.

Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Luis Garcia of the San Diego Padres hold the flag of the Dominican Republic before an Oct. 1 game at Petco Park in San Diego. Photo: Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The Dominican Republic will host the first international office for the Major League Baseball Players Association, Axios has learned.

The big picture: The new office, set to be announced later Monday in the country's capital, Santo Domingo, comes as the league and union work to enhance their presence in the Caribbean and Latin America

  • The Dominican Republic leads for MLB players born outside the U.S., according to the 2022 opening day roster of teams.
  • MLB and the players association announced last August the first-ever regular season series will be played in Mexico City in April 2023. 

Catch up quick: The Dominican Republic has gained popularity with MLB.

  • Teams have opened academies in the country and U.S. players have competed in the competitive winter league series in the D.R. that starts in late October through mid-January.
  • Minor league players, some of whom play in the Dominican Republic and other countries, became part of the player's association in September.

What they're saying: The MLBPA, which already has an office in New York, says the new office will be a hub for players in the Dominican Republic as well as the Caribbean and Latin America.

  • "This is actually going to help us really figure out how we can support the next generation of baseball players" entering the minor leagues, Leonor Colon, MLBPA's senior director of international and domestic player operations, tells Axios.
  • The players association, which handles grievances, wants to help players before, during and after their career, as they come at some point to the Dominican Republic, Colon said.

What's next: Along with former players Carlos Gómez, Miguel Batista and Francisco Cordero, who are among the MLBPA's special assistants and ambassadors, and will be at the new office, the player's association plans to hire full-time staff.

Go deeper