Major League Baseball is considering making some big changes, including realignment and expansion.
At the forefront of every MLB discussion throughout the last few years has been the topic of expansion. According to Tracy Ringolsby of Baseball America, expansion is almost inevitable in Major League Baseball.
However, with expansion comes other changes. Due to the current six-division, two-league system in which the MLB currently uses, a realignment would be needed to accommodate for two expansion teams.
In terms of expansion, the two front-runners are Portland and Montreal. Demand for expansion teams has grown over the last few seasons. Following the departure of the Expos organization from Montreal in 2004, the city has yearned for another franchise. They’ve put in bids to host multiple relocation games through the years. In reality, the city just wants baseball to come back.
Meanwhile, Portland has become a major candidate for relocation and expansion in major league’s as well. Currently, the Trail Blazers (NBA) and Timbers (MLS) are the only major professional sports franchises in the city. Due to a large following and demand, Portland has become an ideal city.
In order to make these changes work, a few other changes would have to happen. Ringolsby’s projected plan has suggested some serious changes which include disposing of the American and National Leagues to make way for an four-division league consisting of eight teams in each, a reduced schedule (162 back to 156) and an expanded playoff field (12 teams). By no means is this plan perfect, questions like “what to do with the DH spot” still remain, but it’s feasible. While the opinions on this would largely be split, they usually are when a league undergoes changes as drastic as this. Monumental changes are definitely years away, but this could be the future of Major League Baseball.
While the opinions on this would largely be split, they usually are when a league undergoes changes as drastic as this. Monumental changes are definitely years away, but this could be the future of Major League Baseball.