The Major League Baseball Commission announced that a radical realignment for the 2020 season is being considered amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include scrapping the traditional format, switching them out with six divisions. Teams selected for these divisions are based on the Spring Training Locations through 2020. The entire league would be split into two for a one-season period, with those leagues being called Grapefruit and Cactus. Both will support three divisions, meaning five teams per division. This would enable for the thirty teams in Major League Baseball to remain in their Spring Training Sites, which are conducted throughout Arizona and Florida.
MLB Teams would complete three weeks of spring training before completing a final week of exhibition contests. The season would then begin immediately afterwards and be played at faster rates than ever before. This ensures that the 2020 Season can conclude before January 2021. Details on which teams would be positioned for the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues, showing that Rob Manfred is serious about this potential realignment.
The Grapefruit League would comprise of organizations like the Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, St Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay. Additional members throughout the Grapefruit divisions include the Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cactus League would combine teams like the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletes, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians. This extends towards the Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies, LA Angeles, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners.
Organizations that dominate over the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, only to become victorious, will compete in the Major League Baseball World Series. It’d be held throughout Late November and could potentially see an increased volume of viewers. Supporters behind MLB might find the radical change to be appealing.
Spring Training Sites under Major League Baseball will support these realigned matches. They’ll be played at stadiums throughout Miami, Florida and Phoenix. All three stadiums provided will have roofs and new services to ensure the protection of all those involved with these realigned games. Those stadiums include Marlins Park, Tropicana Field and Chase Field.