MLB Considering Wild Divisional Realignment for Potential 2020 Season in Arizona

Mookie Betts
Los Angeles Dodgers OF Mookie Betts | Norm Hall/Getty Images

Everything is on the table for Major League Baseball as they try to fit in a 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rob Manfred and Co. are reportedly weighing a plan to play the entire regular season in Arizona at Chase Field and at Spring Training facilities. Such a proposal could alter the length of games and encourage more doubleheaders, with robot umpires and other measures tossed around that would change America's Pastime profoundly.

Along with these unprecedented items, MLB could encourage a kind of AL and NL realignment, structuring the season with Spring Training-esque Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.

Such a decision would split the league in two, with all teams returning to their original Spring Training sites and only playing games in Arizona and Florida, respectively. Each 'league' would consist of three divisions, with the winner of the Grapefruit League later playing the Cactus League champ in an undisclosed location.

Notably, this would represent a major win for TV networks starved for live programming.

Arizona's relatively low number of reported COVID-19 cases in comparison to the rest of the country makes it a popular choice to host games, but Florida is questionable. Being a popular tourist destination, Florida welcomes visitors on a daily basis. Exposing players and staff to coronavirus risk would likely be a nightmare for MLB; they must take every worst-case scenario into account.

Rob Manfred and the MLBPA are actually right to float these ideas by the public, whether intentionally or not. Working in coordination with public health officials, however, is the most important precaution they can take.