Report: MLB Mulling Plan to Start Season in Late June With Realigned Divisions

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MLB is discussing a potential plan to start the season in late June and allow teams to play at their home ballparks with realigned divisions, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

The proposed plan involves realigning MLB into three divisions based on teams' locations rather than the National and American Leagues. The new divisions would help reduce travel, and teams would play with no fans in attendance. 

Nightengale reports the new plan is "pending approval of medical experts and providing that COVID-19 testing is available to the public." It would eliminate the need for players to be in isolation, although it remains unknown if teams would open the season in Arizona, Texas and Florida for a few weeks. 

MLB could potentially have a 100-game regular season before holding the playoffs with an expanded format. According to Nightengale, players are expected to have 18 to 21 days to train at teams' Arizona or Florida spring training sites before starting the season. 

Here's a look at the reported possible realigned divisions:

EAST:

  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Miami Marlins
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Toronto Blue Jays
  • Washington Nationals

WEST:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Houston Astros
  • Oakland Athletics
  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Seattle Mariners
  • Texas Rangers

CENTRAL:

  • Atlanta Braves
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Kansas City Royals
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Minnesota Twins

There are more than one million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, with nearly 60,000 deaths. Worldwide, more than 215,000 people have died of the disease.