According to MLB sources, they might just get dispatched again in 2024, and plan to take the Los Angeles Dodgers with them in their globetrotting endeavors.
Insiders have claimed this week that the Dodgers and Padres are expected to open the 2024 campaign in South Korea, per ESPN's Alden Gonzalez. This remains a rumor, for now, but would make perfect sense, especially considering the league's desire to market Dodgers-Padres as their West Coast Yankees-Red Sox equivalent (just ask Mookie Betts).
Add in the value of South Korean Padres star Ha-seong Kim, and it's no wonder MLB appears to have picked these two teams for their eighth season opener on non-US soil since 1999.
Dodgers-Padres to begin 2024 season in South Korea?
Needless to say, jet-setting to South Korea will be a massive adjustment for both teams, who were probably hoping to have a "normal" offseason after gritting their teeth and smiling through the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
This isn't the first time MLB has plopped teams in Asia to begin the season, though; this rumored series follows in the footsteps of five different Tokyo series since 2000.
Much like the London Series (Cubs-Cardinals this summer) and Mexico City games, these Dodgers-Padres showdowns will be regular season contests for all the marbles, rather than exhibitions. That means that somebody is losing some 2024 home games on U.S. soil. Maybe MLB will be fair and split things equally (two home Dodgers games, two home Petco Park contests)?
All we know is, no matter who's disadvantaged, the fan base will gripe about it before enjoying the global spectacle. With the annual rivalry matchup already downsized from 18 games to 12, this will throw another wrench in the process.
It'll also be extremely cool, though. So there's that.