FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring training games are generally meaningless beyond that they help the players prepare for the coming season. But fans in Mexico will be paying close attention to the Red Sox and Yankees tonight.
Alfredo Aceves, the pride of San Luis Río Colorado, will be facing Manny Banuelos, who is from Monterrey. The Red Sox first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez, was born in San Diego of Mexican parents and spent a good part of his youth there.
Like Aceves, his father was a star player in the Mexican League.
Aceves and Banuelos were property of the Sultanes de Monterrey when they were discovered by Yankees scout Lee Sigman. The Yankees purchased Aceves, Banuelos and two other prospects for $450,000 before the 2008 season.
Aceves made a quick contribution, making his debut in 2008. He was 14-1 with a 3.21 ERA over three seasons and helped win the World Series in 2009. The Yankee non-tendered him in December and the Red Sox signed him.
Banuelos is now one of the Yankees' top prospects. Gonzalez, of course, is a huge part of the Red Sox future. The Yankees also have RHP Luis Ayala, INF Ramiro Pena and INF Jorge Vazquez here tonight.
It's kind of neat how the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, which boils along the Route 95 corridor in the northeast, is felt in places throughout the world.