Saturday, June 11, 2011
MLB May Realign Leagues
By Justin Worsley,
Four sources have told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the MLB and the player's union are discussing a possible realignment between the National and American Leagues. If the realignment does occur, both leagues would foster 15 teams. Currently, the National League has 16 teams while the American League only has 14.
The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire in December. One major change is already set in the new CBA, which is the addition of one more playoff team in each league.
The league could also eliminate the six divisions, making a 15-team race for the five playoff spots based on a club's record. In 2008, the New York Mets failed to maked the playoffs despite winning 89 games because the Los Angeles Dodgers won their division with a 84-78 record.
One part of the negotiation that is stalling the realignment from happening is the schedule. Since both leagues will feature an odd number of teams, at least one team will have an interleague foe at all times, which could make a difference for a team struggling to make the playoffs late in the season.
The one team that has been named as the possible suitor for the American League is the Houston Astros since they would be able to create an inter-state rivalry with the Texas Rangers.