MLB Realignment: Baseball Considering Creating 15-Team Leagues, Eliminating Divisions

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Houston Astros Expected To Move To American League As Condition Of Ownership Change

The Astros' possible relocation, which is reportedly expected to take place in November, would result in an equal five teams for every division in baseball.

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MLB Realignment: Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks Possibilities To Change Leagues

The other day, word got out that Major League Baseball was discussing a variety of realignment plans to balance the 16-team National League and the 14-team American League. Balancing the leagues would require one team to switch, and according to Bob Nightengale, two candidates stand head and shoulders above the rest:

"We would do whatever's best for baseball," said Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall, whose team would move to the American League West from the National League West under one of the plans being discussed by MLB and the players' association. "Most would say us or the Astros would be best candidates (to shift leagues)."

The Diamondbacks and the Astros are the best bets to shift from the NL to the AL - either joining the AL West, or joining a version of the AL that has had the divisions completely eliminated. There are a lot of options being discussed.

Obviously, nothing is imminent here. The most likely big change to MLB's structure is the addition of another two playoff teams. But realignment is a certain possibility in one form or another, and honestly, it's about time for the leagues to be balanced. Having to deal with interleague play every day is a hell of a lot better than one division having 50% more teams than another.

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MLB Realignment? Bring It On

Major League Baseball's newest radical realignment plan isn't a terrible idea, writes Rob Neyer, and it might have something to do with moving on rather than running in place.

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MLB Realignment: League Considering Creating 15-Team AL And NL, Eliminating Divisions

MLB labor negotiations have been ongoing and reportedly fruitful, but maybe the biggest piece of news from them broke Saturday morning: ESPN's Buster Olney reports that multiple sources say a plan that would move a National League team to the American League, creating two 15-team leagues, is under consideration.

Olney further reports that one of the possible means of handling the restructuring of divisions in the event of 15-team leagues would be the elimination of divisions altogether. The 15 teams in each league would then compete for five playoff spots, as MLB would complete both realignment and playoff expansion in one seismic move.

Don't count on this happening immediately, though: Olney quotes a source who says the chances of this happening are "less than 50-50."

The last team to move from one league to another was the Milwaukee Brewers, who moved from the AL Central to the NL Central in 1998.

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