“We are not currently exploring the possibility with the Dodgers or any team to play in Australia,” Pat Courtney, MLB’s senior vice president of public relations, said Wednesday.
Australian promoters told the Sydney Morning Herald that they were working on a deal that could have the Dodgers open 2014 with a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
MLB opened its season in Tokyo in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. The league also opened up internationally in Monterrey Mexico in 1999, and in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2001.
Sports promoter Jason Moore said he has been in negotiations to make the series happen for six years and hoped a deal will be signed by the end of the year.
The plan was for the series to be played in late March — the start of Australia’s autumn — and for the teams to stay in Sydney for six days.
Any series would mark the 100-year anniversary of Major League Baseball’s first foray into Australia. The Chicago White Sox played exhibition games at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1914.
“It’s the cornerstone of our international initiatives,” MLB Australia chief Tom Nicholson said. “It’s a once-in-a-100-year event.”
Major League Baseball partly funds the Australian Baseball League, which has six teams and plays its season from November through February. That allows some minor league prospects from Major League teams to play in Australia during the offseason in North America.