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MLB Should Bake Expansion Into This New Labor Agreement

They did it. The highest paid athletes in professional team sports and their billionaire employers finally settled on a number that they feel good about. WSD can rest easy that a work stoppage won't steal another White Sox season. I am glad we are going to get baseball and an opening day and this thing didn't drag on forever. 

Having said that...I wish they got a bit more radical and came up with concrete ways to grow that pie that they're all fighting over. 

MLB expansion is the one thing that you'd think both sides shake hands on. Sounds like they've made progress on some things

If you promise two new expansion teams within the next 5 everyone wins. 

The owners get FAT expansion fees that they don't necessarily need to share with the players directly. The NHL latest expansion fee was $650M. That is for hockey. However unpopular the internet seems to make baseball seam with quotes like this

Advertisement is still WAY more popular than the NHL. The Mets recently sold for $2.4B. I think it is reasonable to assume at least a $1B expansion fee for an MLB franchise. That's approximately a free $60M minimum for every MLB. You also get more media money for local deals that would be probably 100M per year based on league averages. 

What do the players get? More jobs, more competition for their services, and an overall bigger pie to eat from. 

Baseball hasn't had expansion expansion since the Rays and Diamondbacks came into the league in the late 90s. Every other major pro sports league in North America has expanded since then. It's time to add two more. Expansion to 32 would allow baseball to realign creatively and/or geographically. 8 divisions with 4 teams a piece. 

If the universal DH is coming then the only thing keeping the league from putting the teams in geographical divisions would be tradition. I like tradition, but owners probably would factor in how much they'd save in travel costs if the an unbalanced schedule allowed for 17 games per year between the Sox-Cubs and Yankees-Mets. I hated realignment in College Football, so I would understand if hardcore wanted to keep the divisions the same, but if you wanted to do realignment based simply on geography it might look something like below (which I am posting knowing full well that you all will probably hate it)


Boston, Yankees, Mets, Phillies


Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, Nashville


Baltimore, Washington, Cincinnati, Charlotte


Cubs, White Sox, Brewers, Cardinals

Great Lakes

Detroit, Cleveland, Pirates, Blue Jays

Great Planes

Minnesota, Kansas City, Texas, Houston


Seattle, Colorado, Oakland, San Francisco


Dodgers, Angels, San Diego, Arizona

Obviously the Northeast Division is going to be a bloodbath so in order to combat the playoff format is expanded too. Instead of the proposed 14 team format we are going with 16. All 8 division winners qualify. Then each League gets 4 wild card teams. So in theory if the last place team in the Northeast somehow has the 4th best record in all of baseball they would still get into the playoffs. 

Division winners host a best of 3 in the wildcard round. 

8 remaining teams play best of 5 quarter final

4 remaining teams play best of 7

World Series is a best of 7

You can somehow divide this into American and National Leagues for tradition sake or just simply make it East-West. I personally like the AL-NL tradition of things better, but if you're doing all of this then it's kind of a silly exercise because so many teams are switching divisions and leagues anyways. 

More money, more players, more markets, more playoffs, less travel, and in theory...more equity between rich and poor at the league vs owner level but also between teams. 

Like I said, I am sure many people will hate this idea and tell me to stick to whatever thing of the day I am associated with, but it feels like expansion could be used to bridge a gap between owners and players that allows everyone to get a little more money in their pockets which is what this is all about anyways. 


PS: I tried to do Geographical realignment with Vegas getting an expansion team and it was like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole so I gave it to Charlotte instead because their AAA stadium is sick and it made this experiment easier.