MLB's New Three-Division Plan Is Insane But Might Save the 2020 Season

Ryan Phillips
Rob Manfred at the 2019 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings
Rob Manfred at the 2019 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Major League Baseball is considering a radical plan to save the 2020 season. A proposal reported by USA Today' Bob Nightengale would create three 10-team divisions split up regionally. Some executives are high on the idea as a way to salvage as much of the campaign as they can. Frankly, it's the best idea we've heard yet.

There are no good options for bringing baseball back soon. There's no way to play out the full season, there is noway to safely allow fans to the park and there's no way the league can safely allow a traditional travel schedule for teams. Which is why a radical switch-up makes sense.

Nightengale lays out the proposal and claims it would realign the teams based on geography and have everyone still play in their home stadiums. Travel would be reduced because the teams in each division would only play one another. Some owners and executives are on board with this idea despite the fact that it would abolish the American and National Leagues (at least temporarily). And stands would remain empty for now.

The new divisions would be the East, West and Central and while all the details have yet to be agreed upon, many are apparently optimistic about it. MLB believes it could start the season by July 2 at the latest and squeeze in around 100 games.

The divisions would be as follows:

EAST: Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Nationals, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Blue Jays, Rays, Marlins

WEST: Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Athletics, Padres, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Rangers, Astros Mariners

CENTRAL: Cubs, White Sox, Brewers, Cardinals, Royals, Reds, Indians, Twins, Braves, Tigers

The plan would obviously need the approval of medical experts and the United States would need to dramatically ramp up COVID-19 testing before it was viable. If testing was available and travel was limited due to the new alignment, it would remove the need for players to all be sequestered in Florida or Arizona away from their families.

This plan is a radical change. But, honestly, it's the kind if crazy, out-of-the-box thinking the sports world needs at this point. If we want to have sports in 2020, things are going to have to be different. A one-year realignment to ensure we get baseball would be just fine with me, as long as it could be done safely.