The San Diego Padres today announced a five-year working relationship with the famed Mexico City Red Devils of the Mexican Summer League, opening a new pipeline for the acquisition of top Mexican players as part of a cooperative effort between the clubs in the areas of scouting and player development. Executive Vice President/General Manager Kevin Towers made the announcement.
The oldest and most tradition-rich franchise in Mexico, the Red Devils have won a Summer League-record 12 league championships and, during their just-completed 14-year relationship with the Pittsburgh Pirates, sent players like Francisco Cordova, Jose Silva, Elmer Dessens, Esteban Loaiza and Ricardo Rincon to the major leagues.
"Our Mexican fans have repeatedly told us how important it is to them for us to pursue top Mexican talent," Towers said. "No Mexican Summer League team has produced more major leaguers than the Red Devils. Today's announcement could very well be the most significant step we have taken toward achieving our goal of acquiring quality Mexican players who will contribute to our success in San Diego.
"I have known (Red Devils President) Roberto Mansur since my years with the Pirates, and have always had the utmost respect for the job he does as well as for the entire Red Devils organization. We look forward to this relationship being extremely beneficial to both clubs."
The relationship provides the Padres the opportunity to work with one of the premier organizations in the Mexican Summer League as well as allowing the red Devils to benefit from the Padres' assistance in acquiring talent.
In addition to the clubs working together to evaluate and sign talent throughout Mexico, the agreement calls for an exchange of coaching and scouting methods as well as the opportunity for interaction among members of the two organizations' player development staffs. Coaches from the Red Devils will participate in the Padres' Spring Training camp, and coaches from the Padres will visit Mexico City's spring camp to exchange ideas on player development.
"We are an organization with a long-term vision," Mansur said. "Once our 14-year relationship with the Pirates ended, we were approached by several major league franchises who wanted to work with us. But we have great respect for the job the Padres are doing, people like Kevin Towers, (Special Assistant to the General Manager) Bill Bryk and (Vice President/Player Development and Scouting) Ted Simmons with whom we've been friends for a long time. We are a team that wishes to keep opening the Major League door for young Mexican talent, and we feel the Padres' efforts to provide opportunities to our players were the most sincere.
"No other Mexican League franchise has provided more native talent to the major leagues than the Red Devils, and we expect that number to continue to grow during our relationship with the Padres."