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Report: MLB mulling realignment to resume season in AZ, Florida

15 MLB Cactus League team flags are flown inside of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals spring training facility, Surprise Stadium on April 07, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Major League Baseball has considered a plan that would drastically realign divisions in order to improve the viability of playing out the 2020 MLB season that’s been put on hold by coronavirus.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, a source said MLB has discussed dividing teams into the Cactus League and Grapefruit League in Arizona and Florida, respectively, as opposed to the typical National League and American League. This would put the AL’s Los Angeles Angeles with the NL’s Los Angeles Dodgers, for example.

Per Nightengale, the divisions would be separated into North, South and East in the geographically-expansive Grapefruit League, while the more consolidated Cactus League would have Northeast, West and Northwest divisions. The Diamondbacks would play in the Northeast division with the Cubs, Giants, Rockies and A’s.

This idea contrasts with a previously-reported idea to put all 30 teams in Arizona. That idea called for using Arizona’s spring training sites, too, but teams who normally train in the Grapefruit League would be without the offices, clubhouses and familiarity that Cactus League teams would enjoy.

Nightengale also said that new rules could be in place with this realignment plan, such as having the DH in both leagues and playing double-headers on nights when all 15 teams play, because of the odd number of teams.

The postseason could put the Cactus League winner against the Grapefruit League winner, or other postseason formats could be considered.


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