In anticipation of an abbreviated 2020 season, one of the many proposals being considered by the MLB is a major realignment that would eliminate the traditional American and national leagues, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
“The plan calls for the 30 teams to return to their spring training locations in Florida and Arizona,” writes Nightengale, “by playing regular season games only in these two states and without fans to reduce travel. and minimize the risks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The divisions would be realigned based on the geography of their spring training houses. “
Clubs would first be given three weeks of training, Nightengale adds, including exhibition games, before opening a regular season in divisions that might look like this:
NORTH: New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates.
SOUTH: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles.
EAST: Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins.
NORTHEAST: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics.
WHERE IS: Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels.
NORTH WEST: Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals.
The most important change for the Blue Jays would be to leave AL East with the Yankees to play against their opponents in the grapefruit league, which could mean an easier path to the playoffs for Toronto.
Nightengale explained how the post-season format could potentially resemble such a format.
“Baseball, even with realignment, could still play 12 games each against their new divisional opponents and six games each against other state teams. … The DH would probably also be universally implemented. There could still be division winners and wild card winners, perhaps adding two more wild card teams to each league, or a post-season tournament with the 30 teams, “he wrote. .
“The winner of the Cactus League in Arizona would face the winner of the Grapefruit League in Florida for the World Series championship, using the domed stadiums in late November. “
No official decision has yet been made on when the league will return, or what the return will look like.