Various sources are reporting today that Major League Baseball has had extensive discussions about potential realignment in the near future.

ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting that the MLB and the MLB Players Association are discussing moving an NL team to the AL to have two 15-team leagues.

Amongst the considerations are three 5-team divisions per league or no divisions at all in an effort to remove the currently-utilized unbalanced schedule that gives some teams an unfair advantage based on their opponents and frequency of playing them.

The 15-team no division format would have five teams make the playoffs per league with the top three seeds in each league presumably receiving a bye into the second round of the playoffs.

One source reported that the odds of such a change occurring are about 50-50.

A major factor to consider with possible realignment is there would always be the need for an interleague series to take place because of the odd number of teams in each league. Another deciding factor would be which team to move from the NL to the AL; presumably an NL Central team would move to the AL West to put five teams in every division. The Houston Astros are one team that has been discussed, as it would allow for a rivalry with the in-state Texas Rangers.

So what to think of all of this?

If it does happen, it probably won’t be soon; it would likely take a few years to get everything in place and get a majority of teams on board. Some compensations would need to be made for the team transferring leagues, a new playoff format would need to be agreed upon and the potential of year-round interleague play is also sure to cause some debate.

This could be part of a master plan to increase revenues by increasing the number of playoff teams. I suppose a three-game playoff that has already been discussed would be used between the fourth and fifth seed of each league. The playoffs would continue like they currently function after the Wild Card round.

It’s difficult to fathom such a drastic change to the tradition-laden MLB, but stranger things have happened.

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