Given the economic impact the pandemic is having on baseball teams, one of the big subjects for the league recently has been with regards to expansion. For teams to join the league there is an expansion fee that would help boost short-term revenue, and then longer-term it’s just more revenue to add to the sharing pile.
Despite that, it doesn’t appear anything is imminent on that front. However, at some point it’s safe to assume we’re going to see expansion in this league, which hasn’t added more teams since the Rays and Diamondbacks joined the fold in 1998. And so that was the subject of this week’s SB Nation Reacts poll.
Should it happen?
I don’t actually have a super strong opinion one way or the other here, so the near-50/50 split works for me. The revenue part is important, but not really something I personally care a ton about. I think I probably lean yes because it seems like it might be a way to get more talented young players up earlier since the other veteran options would definitionally be lower tiered. That said, CBA tweaks could achieve that as well, and I do wonder how much 52 extra roster spots would drain overall talent team-to-team. So like I said, I probably lean yes but I could be convinced otherwise.
How many teams?
This one would seem like a no-brainer to me. I certainly don’t think you can really add more than two. At that point the talent pool really starts to get drained. And adding one just leads to a whole lot of inequality in the schedule and takes away from the normal rhythm of a season since you’d need someone getting days off on a daily basis. So you have to go with an even number with each league getting the same number of additions, and anything more than two teams would seem to be pushing it.
Where should they look?
This is the big question, of course. I was actually surprised Montreal didn’t win, though it wouldn’t be my top choice either. I think Nashville makes a lot of sense given how fast it’s growing and since that area doesn’t really have a team nearby. Honestly, all of those choices seem fine to me and again I don’t have a strong preference. But if I were forced to choose two I’d probably go Nashville and Portland. (Maine, of course.)