Red Sox, Yanks could play in London in '18

New Collective Bargaining Agreement sets framework for series in UK capital

December 23rd, 2016
Jacoby Ellsbury and the Yankees could face Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox at London Stadium in '18.Jim Rogash/Getty Images

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox and the Yankees have faced off in 2,156 regular-season games over their century-plus of knowing each other. All of those meetings have taken place in either Boston or New York, a fact which could change as soon as 2018.

With Major League Baseball's new Collective Bargaining Agreement setting the framework for a series to be played in London, there is discussion being given toward turning the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry into an international event.

The potential neutral site matchup was first reported Friday by the Boston Herald. Yankees president Randy Levine confirmed to that there have been discussions among the teams and MLB.

"The Yankees have been at the forefront of suggesting that we bring the great game of baseball to London," Levine said via email. "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 unique and special event."

The games would be held at London Stadium, which served as the home stadium for the 2012 Olympics.

Red Sox owner John Henry and Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner have been discussing the potential series for the past two years, according to the report. MLB would need to approve the neutral site matchup by spring 2017.

Via a statement, Red Sox president Sam Kennedy offered this take on the topic:

"There's nothing to the story at this point," Kennedy said. "However, if MLB decides that we are a good fit for it down the road, the team would love to do it."

Both Kennedy and Levine serve on MLB's International Committee. MLB's CBA was ratified last week, which includes a commitment from MLB and the players to compete in multiple international destinations. London was the only named city in the document.

The report said that, over the five-year course of the CBA, the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets are all likely to play in London.

Both the Red Sox and Yankees have played games on international soil in the past several years, visiting the Tokyo Dome for season openers. The Yankees opened the 2004 season with a two-game series against the Rays (then the Devil Rays) and the Red Sox opened '08 with two games against the Athletics.