Once Again: Why The MLB Should Consider A Geographical/Market Size Re-Alignment For The Next CBA:

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The new CBA has been a godsend for the mid – market teams, and not so great for the 10 top markets, but even more devastating for the 10 lowest markets.  One thing the CBA did address was to give the players an additional 4 days off during the league year – stretching from 183 Days to 187 – in lieu of expanding the rosters of 25 to 26.

This website has continued its stance since day 1, that while the economics have been a lot more fair to teams in the last 15 years, there is still much work to do.  The best small market teams we have seen in the last 7 years have been the Oakland A’s, Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates and of course the 2015 World Series winning Kansas City Royals.  Only one of these teams actually were a decent franchise for some time before they took off.

Pittsburgh lost for 22 years before they finally made 3 straight postseason appearances.  With the new CBA not giving them 1st RD Draft Picks for departing players in future seasons like Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco, Starling Marter and Gerrit Cole, this is a sure fire way for the brass to cut the cord on their service team a lot of time ahead of them hitting Free Agency.

Kansas City was a laughable organization from the mid 90’s to 2013 as well, and despite winning back to back pennants in the AL< and being the first small market team to win the World Series since the 2003 Marlins, they will soon start to see their team ripped apart under the same Free Agent terms like the Bucs – with Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Danny Duffy and Mike Moustakas likely all not re-signing with the franchise.  Dayton Moore already had to trade ace Closer Wade Davis this past week.

The Tampa Bay Rays were awful from 1998 – 2007, and were able to stockpile #1 overall picks to build up the franchise.  The Joe Maddon era ensued for 6 straight quality years where they competed beautifully, including a World Series Loss in 2008, but now they are at a crossroads again from a 68 win campaign. and teams all spending double what they can.

LA-Dodgers-logo

Unfortunately the Padres/DiamondBacks and Rockies all reside in the NL West, where the Dodgers have spent over a Billion Dollars on player contracts the last  years – all NL West Division Title Wins – and have caused the Giants to spend almost as much money as them.

The Reds/Brewers have to contend with the new mage powerhouse of the Cubs spending near the Luxury Tax Theeshold as well, and the Cardinals being able to spend almost as much.

Oakland, who is coming up to a 2019 loss of Revenue Sharing. has seen the Astros come in to the AL West, and now them, the Eangers/M’s and Angels also spend double to what they do.

The Marlins are also pegged against a high spending Nationals team…The Phillies supported the highest payroll for a few seasons, the Mets are only held back by ownership, but are now spending noth of $159 MIL on their total team salary. and the Braves have a new stadium to increase spending.

I understand some of the franchises are reciprocal of the club being competitive and not be in direct coalition of the club’s finances, but the gap is widening.

Traditions be damned, as these Divisions will make it a lot easier for travel – and promote more equality among all markets of clubs.

American League

Payroll in Millions In Parenthesis

AL East

New York Yankees ($228)

New York Mets ($156)

Philadelphia Phillies ($117)

Boston Red Sox ($218)

Detroit Tigers ($205)

Detroit might suffer a little because of the economy but they are one of the proudest franchises and draw well. With New York and Philly 100 miles away they should all play each other a lot more. Boston is not too far either. All of these teams have the capability of drawing 3 Million-4 Million fans to compete.

These teams would really battle each other all out.  They still might pick off the two wild card positions every year.

AL Central

Chicago Cubs ($188)

Chicago White Sox ($141)

Atlanta Braves ($122)

Texas Rangers ($169)

Houston Astros ($112)

To have the Chicago teams in the same division makes total sense as does the the Texas teams.  Atlanta is a short plane ride between the 4 clubs.

Chicago still is the richest team here.  If you added 6 or 7 more games at home each for the White Sox, you would probably sell those games  with Cubs fans buying more tixkets.

AL West

Seattle Mariners ($155)

San Francisco Giants ($183)

Los Angeles Dodgers ($279)

Los Angeles Angels ($181)

St. Louis Cardinals ($167)

We have St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle all playing vs Kansas City, Oakland and Colorado as their natural rivalries so they will play 8 more games vs. each other in addition to the 4 games for cross league divison.

Seattle could easily afford more payroll if the team was playing better.  They proved they could draw in the 3 million range for fans.  Having the 6th biggest city in the USA is another reason why Seattle should be able to draw better.

National League

NL East

Washington Nationals ($163)

Baltimore Orioles ($157)

Toronto Blue Jays ($160)

Tampa Bay Rays ($71)

Miami Marlins ($81)

It is time to face the truth – That is that these teams are at a severe disadvantage with the divisions they are currently in. It’s a natural to have BAL-WSH, TB-FLA in the same division.

You have to think about practicality here of Marlins/Rays fans being able to watch their own team in the same state a few more times. Toronto is the odd duck of the group, but with four teams having two-sets of close ball yards, going on road trips would be a lot easier for the Canadian team.

NL Central

Milwaukee Brewers ($75)

Minnesota Twins ($106)

Cleveland Indians ($115)

Cincinnati Reds ($115)

Pittsburgh Pirates ($106)

The Ohio clubs and the Pirates are all close enough to each other in proximity.  Minnesota and Milwaukee are also close to one another, and all within a quick plane trip from the 1st three.

NL West

Oakland A’s ($100)

San Diego Padres ($128)

Coloado Rockies ($121)

Arizona Diamondbacks  ($103)

Kansas City Royals ($145)

This division makes sense because of the payrolls all being so low.  It is time to factor this in.  Chances are these teams would not win the wild card spots anyway but they would have a chance at a division title every year.

The National League carrying lower payrolls for the teams makes sense without the DH.  A good DH will raise your teams budget by 10-16 Million Dollars.

Divisional play would be 11 games (4×11 for 44 games), League play(non-divisional) would be 6 games x 10 teams (60 gms=104 overall).  The opposing league East vs. East, West vs. West and Central vs. Central all play each other on a 4 game set.  (5×4 =20) for 124 overall.

You would play the other 10 teams in your cross leagues 3 games (10×3=30) and 154 overall.  You then would play your natural rivalry 8 games to make up the 162 game season.

A look at what the New York Yankees season series would look like versus the other teams

NYY opponent list

BOS (19)

DET (11)

NYM( 11)

PHI (11)

CLE (11)

ATL (6)

HOU (6)

PIT (6)

TEX (6)

HOU (6)

SEA (6)

SF (6)

STL (6)

LAA (6)

LAD (6)

TOR (4)

TB (4)

MIA (4)

WSH (4)

MIA (4)

CWS (3)

CHC (3)

MIN (3)

MIL (3)

CIN (3)

ARZ (3)

SD (3)

COL (3)

OAK (3)

KC (3)

Natural Rivalries. Games vs. each other for year

NYY/BOS (19)

DET/TOR (12)

PHI/NYM (19)

TB/MIA (19)

BAL/WSH (19)

STL/KC (12)

LAA/LAD (19)

ARZ/SD (19)

COL/SEA (12)

SF/OAK (12)

CWS/CHC (19)

MIL/MIN (19)

CIN/ATL (12)

PIT/CLE (19)

TEX/HOU (19)

Natural Rivalries (Play each other an additional 8 games even if not in the same division.)   For this example New York Yankees are playing Boston as their main rival and would play the normal 11 divisional games plus another 8 rival games.  However, Toronto and Detroit would only play each other 4x for cross league same division and then play each other for an additional 8 rival games for 12 overall.

Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharin and tougher Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharing for Oakland and not being able to recoup 1st RD Draft picks by losing star players will hurt them even greater. The AL West also has 4 big market clubs residing it now, with Houston being a lot better than they were in 2013 and 2014, the best time the A's have seen of recent vintage. it will be a tough grind for Oakland to compete until a new stadium is built.

Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharin and tougher Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharing for Oakland and not being able to recoup 1st RD Draft picks by losing star players will hurt them even greater. The AL West also has 4 big market clubs residing it now, with Houston being a lot better than they were in 2013 and 2014, the best time the A’s have seen of recent vintage. it will be a tough grind for Oakland to compete until a new stadium is built- or a re-alignment move like this can be done.

By Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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About hunterstokes21

I Played NCAA Baseball at Liberty University in the 90's with Sid Bream's kid Sheldon. Once Hit a Home Run by hitting a hot air balloon that was coming over 2nd base (It was agreed that if a balloon was hit before game by the umpires and coaches - even though they were setting up in LF/CF Bleachers). I believe in the "Church Of Baseball". Come in for worship anytime.

Posted on December 12, 2016, in MLB Interleague, MLB Payroll and Contracts, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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