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MLB Is Exploring Divisional Realignment For The 2020 Season


The 2020 MLB campaign is on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the league is exploring several options, hoping to avoid an entire season cancellation.

The regular season was slated to begin on March 24, with all 30 teams scheduled to play. MLB and the MLBPA are reportedly looking at a plan to begin the season in May, with all the games taking place at facilities and venues in the greater Phoenix area.

If the MLB season were to begin in the near future, the league would certainly have to shake up its scheduling. And according to a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today, MLB is exploring an idea to realign to the league to six divisions for strictly the 2020 season.

The National League and the American league would be eliminated, per Nightengale. Here's his explanation on how the proposed plan would work:

"The plan would have all 30 teams returning to their spring training sites in Florida and Arizona, playing regular-season games only in those two states and without fans in an effort to reduce travel and minimize risks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The divisions would be realigned based on the geography of their spring training homes.

The plan would allow teams to return to the comforts of their spring training sites for three weeks of training, which would also include exhibition games, before opening the regular season and playing a schedule with wholly different divisional opponents."

A potential realignment plan would see the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates play in the North Division in the Grapefruit League.

The South Division would feature the Boston Red Sox (taking them out of the same division as the Yankees), Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins.

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The East Division would contain the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals (the finalists in the 2019 World Series), along with the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins.

In the Cactus League, the Northeast Division would contain the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians would play in the West Division. And finally, the Northwest Division would have the Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.

Again, there are plenty of options on the table here for Major League Baseball, and there's no guarantee that a 2020 season takes place. But the league and players remain committed to playing out the season, one way or another.

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Observer UK