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MLB Expansion


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The U. S. population has tripled in the past 100 years. Baseball has grown enormously in many countries outside of the United States. There are plenty of players and there are a number of cities that would support baseball. Yes, baseball should add two teams. 

Where is a little more controversial. Everyone will have their own ideas. My quick response would be Portland, Oregon and Montreal, Quebec.

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22 minutes ago, wsnydes said:

Until they figure out how to create more parity, no.  It'll just create more imbalance, IMO.

Perhaps, but compare to NBA and NFL. MLB rarely has teams finish below .300 winning percentage, which is terrible. This is common in the other leagues and the NFL has had a handful of teams go winless.

Parity may be how we perceive the competition, but I am in favor of anything that creates closer competition. It just seems difficult.

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5 minutes ago, tony&rodney said:

Perhaps, but compare to NBA and NFL. MLB rarely has teams finish below .300 winning percentage, which is terrible. This is common in the other leagues and the NFL has had a handful of teams go winless.

Parity may be how we perceive the competition, but I am in favor of anything that creates closer competition. It just seems difficult.

That's fair, but the economics in those leagues is much different.  I agree with your last paragraph though.  I'm just not convinced that watering down the player pool helps the league as a whole.  I think it will make the "have's" that much stronger and the "have nots" that much weaker as they fight over the non-top tier free agent player pool that is often times already not deep enough in the first place.

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Expansion is overdue. Montreal is a fantastic baseball TV market. There is a French language sports channel called RDS that needs programming to fill the summers when hockey is offseason. US markets in my order of preference are San Antonio, Nashville, Portland and Charlotte. The team will go to the market that is willing to pay for a stadium with public money.

Mexico is not ready for expansion. Monterrey is the best market because it doesn't require as much travel. I don't think MLB players are going to want to live there with the high profile kidnappings.

They won't need to worry about parity because expanded playoffs are certain to follow expansion. There will be at least 14 of 32 teams in the postseason every year. Even if the Yankees and Dodgers fill 2 slots every year that leaves 12 spots for the rest of the league.

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1 hour ago, Old fox said:

Not at time as the caliber of the minor leagues don’t seem to have an over supply of mlb players ready to be promoted to the mlb. 

This may or may not be accurate, but the new teams would be rostered from a draft from the existing teams. Each team protects 20 players and can protect three more players if a player from their system is drafted. There are 30 teams. Two teams draft 40 players apiece from the list of 600 players left exposed to the draft. MLB rosters could be set at 25 players where it has been in the past.  Two teams add only 20 players to MLB rosters. There are plenty of good players to fill the rosters of two new teams. Clearly there would be a set of rules established to carry out a draft, from fees to draft. 

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It would be good for a bunch of AAAA players. One new team in each league would kill the excuse for inter-league play during the season. It would mean restructuring the divisions to create, probably, 4 in each league, Some positives there. Portland and Nashville seem reasonable both for geographic and historical reasons.

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I’m al for expanding the league by two teams. It does a few things:

1. Creates even-numbered leagues and removes the ugly “always on” inter league system we have now

2. It creates new fanbases and also prevents existing MLB from extorting their current cities for new stadiums as easily

3. It allows for division realignment that keeps everything equal while also allowing for a small expansion of postseason teams in a logical way 

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14 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I’m al for expanding the league by two teams. It does a few things:

1. Creates even-numbered leagues and removes the ugly “always on” inter league system we have now

2. It creates new fanbases and also prevents existing MLB from extorting their current cities for new stadiums as easily

3. It allows for division realignment that keeps everything equal while also allowing for a small expansion of postseason teams in a logical way 

I'm not necessarily against the concept of expansion, I just don't know that the talent pool is deep enough at the moment.  But what I do like about the idea of expansion relates to your items 1 and 3, though I've always enjoyed the exclusivity of MLB's playoffs.  I think the NBA and NFL playoffs are watered down.  The NHL is different because a hot goalie can create so much havoc that the craziness factor is entertaining (and frustrating) on it's own.

I do think that the stadium thing will never really go away, or really get more difficult.  There will always be that next tier of cities that are of the ilk of the Portlands or Charlottes now, or an emerging market that will get big enough where a second team might make logical sense.  And that doesn't even take into account international expansion, which opens a whole new flood of potential sites to relocate or expand to.

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If the cities would and could support a MLB team, I’d look for places that would fill in a geographical map. I don’t think we need more teams in the NE, SE or upper Midwest. I’d look to expand to Portland and Las Vegas (or SLC). But, again, these would have to have owners and a population to support this. Then I’d create 4 divisions of 8 teams. With that you could develop a playoff structure … maybe the top 2 or 4 from each division, and figure it out from there. Universal DH would mean no inter league play. Divisions would look something like this.

West: Seattle, Portland, Oakland, San Francisco, dodgers, angels, San Diego, Phoenix 

central west: Las Vegas (or SLC), Houston, Arlington, St. Louis, KC, Minnesota, colorado, Milwaukee 

central East: cubs, ChiSox, Detroit, Toronto, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Philly 

east: Boston, Mets, Yankees, DC, Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa 

 

Edit to add … but before this, baseball needs to solve some of its other more pressing concerns first

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15 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

If the cities would and could support a MLB team, I’d look for places that would fill in a geographical map. I don’t think we need more teams in the NE, SE or upper Midwest. I’d look to expand to Portland and Las Vegas. But, again, these would have to have owners and a population to support this. Then I’d create 4 divisions of 8 teams. With that you could develop a playoff structure … maybe the top 3 from each division. And go from there.

This is the first mention of Las Vegas which has added the NHL and NFL teams in the last couple years.  I'm pretty sure that town has enough money to build a state-of-the-art domed stadium.  (I don't care if it is a "dry heat", 115 degrees in the summer is too hot to be outdoors for most people.)

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4 minutes ago, terrydactyls said:

This is the first mention of Las Vegas which has added the NHL and NFL teams in the last couple years.  I'm pretty sure that town has enough money to build a state-of-the-art domed stadium.  (I don't care if it is a "dry heat", 115 degrees in the summer is too hot to be outdoors for most people.)

I edited my post to say LV or SLC … but lots of ifs in all of my ‘planning’. I just think expansion needs to make sense geographically, too, as well as a host of other things

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Population being a determinant, it would make most sense for Montreal with 4 million in their statistical area. San Antonio, Portland, Orlando, and Charlotte are just below that at 2.5 million with Vegas at 2.25 million plus tourists at any given time.  That is a relatively small areas to draw 2 million fans from. The money from cable would be important. How big of population that is close enough to care becomes the issue. Tennessee might come into play. 

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The average value of a baseball team is somewhere short of 2 billion. 1.5 b for an expansion franchise wouldn’t be out of line with how the NHL set the price for the Kracken. That would work out to 100 million for each team. I am surprised that expansion hasn’t come up at that price

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If I had to choose cities I would do the following.

  1. Montreal
  2. Portland OR Vancouver. Personally I would choose Vancouver give Canada 3 total teams. Also that might be more palatable for the Mariners as it would be different country. Although the Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers have a great rivalry. 
  3. Las Vegas 
  4. Charlette 
  5. Than San Antonio/Austin Texas could use another team by its size.  

Then move:

  • The A's to San Jose OR Sacramento.  Separate them from the Giants and tap into one of those other large markets. I would choose Sacramento over San Jose as it is slightly farther away and isn't on the Bay. San Jose is also connected to San Fran Via train so its more likely to feed to the Giants. 

 

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I would be for expansion if for no other reason than to even out the leagues and eliminate/minimize interleague play. Pitcher development would become extremely important, but I think the days of 6 inning starters would become a thing of the past and the 3 true outcome hitters would become more the norm.

However, one question has not been asked: Which player/prospect(s) are you prepared to lose? If teams can protect only 20 players, which 20 do the Twins protect first? They will be able to add to the protected list anytime a player is chosen, but could still run the risk of losing of a top prospect or MLB starter.

Looking back at the past drafts, teams lost some very good players/prospects including Trevor Hoffman, Vinny Castilla, Carl Everett, Brian Harvey, Joe Girardi, Bobby Abreau, Ruppert Jones, Jim Clancy, Ernie Whitt and other past and future all-stars.

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59 minutes ago, old nurse said:

The average value of a baseball team is somewhere short of 2 billion. 1.5 b for an expansion franchise wouldn’t be out of line with how the NHL set the price for the Kracken. That would work out to 100 million for each team. I am surprised that expansion hasn’t come up at that price

The reason MLB isn’t expanding is because it’s working so well to have these expansion cities perpetually in play so current owners can extort states and municipalities into funding new stadiums.

Which is why MLB should expand. 

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7 minutes ago, mnfireman said:

However, one question has not been asked: Which player/prospect(s) are you prepared to lose? If teams can protect only 20 players, which 20 do the Twins protect first? They will be able to add to the protected list anytime a player is chosen, but could still run the risk of losing of a top prospect or MLB starter.

Expansion franchises would pay a large fee to gain entrance into the exclusive club, MLB. The fee is for players. Every team should lose some really good players. The details are hammered out before the drafts. I would even suggest if the fee is $1B or more that teams only get to protect 15 players from their 40 person lists.

A stab at who from players currently on the 40 person roster: Lewis, Miranda, Buxton, Kirilloff, Kepler, Jeffers, Larnach, Polanco, Ober, Ryan, Winder, Balazovic, Duran, Alcala, Sands - that's fifteen. Naturally, the list would be different when expansion occurs and teams would try to trade players they were worried about losing. Players below the 40 person roster eligibility are protected in most expansion cases. These details get negotiated amongst the owners. One can see that most of the best players remain with their team. The league would, ideally, want the new teams to be rostered with respectable players.

The new CBA gets hammered out. MLB expands by two franchises. Oakland and Tampa Bay get moved if they do not resolve their issues. Knowing that expansion will happen should expedite their decisions. 

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From Wikipedia, concerning the 1997 expansion draft:

  • For the first round, 15 players from the rosters of their entire organization—both their 40-man roster, plus all minor league affiliates.[4]
  • Each team could add three more players to its protected list after each round.[4]
  • All players in an organization were eligible to be drafted, except those with no prior major league experience who had less than three years service if signed at age 19 or older, or had less than four years of service if signed at age 18 or younger.[5]
  • Players who were free agents after the end of the 1997 season need not be protected.
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I haven't seen Brooklyn mentioned as a possible expansion location, and I think it makes a lot of sense.  The NYC market is more capable of supporting a third team than a lot of the AAAA cities being mentioned.  And they already have a ballpark, for the minor league Cyclones, which has a footprint for additional seating.

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16 hours ago, oregontwin said:

It would be good for a bunch of AAAA players.

One thing you normally see after an expansion is that the best players have longer careers. Teams will call up their stud prospects earlier and star players will get an extra year or two at the end of their career.

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