It’s not a secret that MLB wants to expand from 30 to 32 teams.
Sure, they will have to solve the issues in Oakland and Tampa Bay, but the plans for an expansion are there, and several cities are shaping up as candidates to have an MLB team.
The Athletic’s Jim Bowden took the time not only to come up with two viable candidates for the expansion, but to re-configure divisions and leagues as we know it.
“When MLB expands to 32 teams, it should forget the AL and NL. Embrace a dramatic geographic realignment,” The Athletic tweeted, with the graph of the new geographic configuration.
When MLB expands to 32 teams, it should forget the AL and NL.
Embrace a dramatic geographic realignment.
Here's one way @JimBowdenGM thinks it could look ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/ipYj7C4ouZ
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 7, 2023
Bowden is proposing to eliminate the American and National Leagues and replace them for a more traditional, NBA-like Eastern and Western Conference.
There are eight divisions with four teams each.
The two expansion teams will be, according to this hypothetical exercise, in Charlotte and Nashville so both will be part of the Eastern Conference.
The four divisions in the Eastern Conference would be East, Mid-Atlantic, North, and Southeast.
The Western Conference would be formed by the West, Pacific Coast, Southwest, and Midwest divisions.
The system follows a geographical logic: for example, the Miami Marlins, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Atlanta Braves, and the new Nashville team would be in the Southeast division.
Will this work?
Would MLB be open to adopting a similar scheme?
Something will have to change with the two new teams.
On several levels, the proposal makes sense.
It may still need some work (Colorado on the coast instead of San Diego doesn’t feel right, for example), but it’s a fun idea to think about.NEXT: Former MLB Pitcher Believes Shohei Ohtani Is Still Ascending