Potential MLB Expansion, Realignment ‘Could’ Result In These Divisions

465
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred

Photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has been open about wanting to expand baseball to 32 teams once the situation with the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays gets resolved, and that could open the door for sweeping changes in the league.

There are a number of cities that become the future home of an MLB team, including Portland, Ore., Las Vegas, Charlotte, N.C., and the Austin/San Antonio, Texas area.

Whenever the 31st and 32nd teams join MLB, it could lead to the realignment of divisions and a change in the playoff format, according to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark.

Stark explained how potential future realignment could work in a fascinating piece published Wednesday.

The first possibility Stark floated would put the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees into opposite divisions.

Here’s Stark’s potential geographic realignment: 

MLB EAST
BAMBINO DIVISION

Yankees
New York Mets
Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals

SPLINTER DIVISION
Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates

AARON DIVISION
Atlanta Braves
Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays
Charlotte*

MUSIAL DIVISION
St. Louis Cardinals
Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Indians

MLB WEST
JACKIE DIVISION

Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Angels
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

MAYS DIVISION
San Francisco Giants
Oakland A’s
Seattle Mariners
Portland*

BRETT DIVISION
Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros
Texas Rangers
Colorado Rockies

ERNIE DIVISION
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins

Stark noted that the realignment could be tweaked, obviously, to put rivals in the same division.

“When we talked about this, it just felt like a very futuristic conversation,” a source told Stark. “It might seem so radical. But it has so many advantages from a scheduling, fan and attendance standpoint.”

Stark also notes this approach would negate the designated hitter as it would effectively do away with the American and National Leagues. But if MLB wanted to keep the leagues intact but stick with eight four-team divisions, it might look like this, per Stark.

NATIONAL LEAGUE
NL NORTHEAST

Nationals
Mets
Phillies
Pirates

NL MIDEAST
Cubs
Cardinals
Reds
Brewers

NL SOUTH
Braves
Marlins
Rays
Charlotte

NL WEST
Dodgers
Giants
Padres
Diamondbacks

AMERICAN LEAGUE
AL EAST

Yankees
Red Sox
Orioles
Blue Jays

AL MIDEAST
Indians
Twins
White Sox
Tigers

AL SOUTH
Astros
Rangers
Royals
Rockies

AL WEST
Mariners
Portland
A’s
Angels

A realignment coupled with a shortened season and a different format could be exactly the change baseball has been looking for, but it likely still will be some time before the two new teams enter the league.

Read Stark’s full piece here>>

TMZ logo

© 2018 NESN

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties