MLB has plenty of shit to get together before it starts thinking about expansion, and commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledges that. The collective bargaining agreement expires this winter, so that’s foremost. The stadium situations in Oakland and St. Pete are dire. But once all that’s out of the way, it’s time for more baseball teams!
“Baseball’s a growth business and growth businesses tend to expand,” Manfred said yesterday on the Red Sox-White Sox broadcast. (Fun fact! Yesterday was the first time in MLB history that four first-place teams were all playing in the same city.)
If MLB is healthy, going to 32 teams (with possible realignment?) seems inevitable—it’s been 16 years since the last expansion, and 11 years since the last relocation, which feels like an eternity in sports time.
“Once we’re past that I would love to see us expand,” Manfred continued. “I think there are international locations. My personal, sort of, frontrunners would be either Montreal or Mexico City, where we could go plan on a sustained basis. I think it would be great for the growth of the game.”
Since the financial viability of new franchises doesn’t affect me at all, put me on record as saying: Montreal, Mexico City? Cool, let’s do it.
One would assume that expansion could result in other cities trying to put together bids (the usual suspects include Las Vegas, San Antonio, Nashville, Portland, and Charlotte). But let’s get creative. And international.