MLB Looking at Realignment for Shortened 2020 Season with All Games in Arizona and Florida
While Major League Baseball continues to toy with the idea of all 30 of their teams playing at spring training sites in Florida and Arizona, there’s also rumblings of chatter about realigning the divisions should the Florida/Arizona idea take place.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that league officials have sat down over the concept of putting together new divisions for this year only as teams try and get through what will be a shortened season after having to wait for the covid-19 virus to pass across the United States.
According to Nightengale, the American and National Leagues would not exist for 2020, but come back into play when hopefully things get back to normal for the 2021 campaign.
For the 2020 season, the divisions would be realigned based on the geography of their spring training homes.
So who exactly would be in the Indians division based on their playing in Goodyear, Arizona?
The Indians according to the piece would play in the Cactus League West, along with the following four teams – Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels.
It would be interesting to see the Indians and “divisional” play against one team they rarely play (Dodgers), another two they play a few times per season (Reds and Angels) and one that they play an awful lot in the AL Central (White Sox).
Here’s how the standings for such a division would have played out in 2019.
Los Angeles Dodgers 106-56
Cleveland Indians 93-69
Cincinnati Reds 75-87
Chicago White Sox 72-89
Los Angeles Angels 72-90
As pointed out by Nightengale, the Cactus League would showcase teams in Arizona that are all within one hour driving distance of each other.
Here’s the other two Cactus League divisions from the article.
Northeast – Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Oakland A’s
Northwest – Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers
Playing the 2020 season in Florida and Arizona would showcase 26 stadiums between both states, with three Major League domed stadiums.
The Indians site for spring training games in Arizona is Goodyear Ballpark, which is shared with the Cincinnati Reds.
With the realignment, teams would play 12 games apiece against their new divisional opponents (48 games) and six games apiece against the other teams in the state (60).
That would equal out a season with 108 games. You would also have one doubleheader per day based on the fact there’s an odd number of teams in each state.
It sounds like any way you break it down, the 2020 season will be played in Arizona in some fashion, and the season would be shortened as well as look different if the AL and NL are on hold for the 2020 campaign.