MLB Players Have Reportedly Agreed to Radical Realignment If Necessary

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MLB Players Have Reportedly Agreed to Radical Realignment If Necessary

Chicago Cubs

We are awaiting the next update on the players and owners’ financial talks on starting the MLB season, and the mind wanders as to the meaning, since we have nothing else to think about on the baseball side. Is it a good sign that the talks out of the media now? … or is it because things have once again gone totally silent between the sides? … or is it just out of deference to the ongoing demonstrations? 

It’s Wednesday. A reminder that without a deal this week, it’s virtually impossible to see a safe ramp-up to a July 1 Opening Day. 

While we wait …

One interesting side note reported this week that got lost in the bigger picture shuffle: the players have reportedly agreed, if necessary, to a radical realignment plan (LA Times). You remember that whole thing? 10-team divisions, separated by geography? 

It seemed to fall out of favor for some reason, and instead teams would simply  play in their traditional five-team divisions, with schedules that were geographically altered. But now, apparently, geographic realignment is back on the table, and we might see that insane 10-team Central League that would combine the AL and NL Centrals, and have the Cubs in the same division as the White Sox.

What’s unclear, though, is how exactly the postseason would shape up under such a plan, which might include the AL and NL teams playing together in the same division, but then getting broken back up again for the playoffs, based on which of the teams in the division had the best record among their AL and NL counterparts (Globe). Which, uh, that’s basically just the same thing as not actually being in the same division. At that point it would just be about the schedule. You can call it whatever you want, but if the same group of teams aren’t competing against each other to actually win that same division (and the postseason spot that comes with it), that’s not really being in the same division. 

We’ll see when we see. It’s not even locked in yet that the postseason would include expansion to 7 teams in each league (or, uh, 14 teams total in three divisions?), so sorting out byes among three or six divisions if there weren’t two leagues would be tricky. 

In any case, the bigger point here is that at least some peripheral competition issues are getting agreed to, and won’t be any kind of last minute hold-up in the process. 

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.