The MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations have been at the front of everyone’s minds in the baseball world in recent weeks and, by the free agent frenzy that has happened, there are definitely some players who are trying to find a new home before a lockout hits.
But according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN, MLB’s proposal to the MLBPA has a few changes that are very intriguing.
One change that MLB is proposing is the expansion of playoffs
Among some other changes that MLB is proposing in negotiations is an expanded playoff format. Rogers reports that the format would have 14 teams in the playoffs (up from the 10 playoff teams that is has been in 2012-2019 and 2021). Each league would still have three divisions and instead of two Wild Card teams, there would be four Wild Card teams.
According to Rogers, here is how the rest of the playoffs would work.
- The team with the best record in each league would get a bye into the best-of-five division series.
- The other two division winners would pick their Wild Card opponent from the worst three Wild Card teams, with the second-best division winner picking first. Then the #3 seed in each league would pick its opponent from the final two Wild Card teams.
- The Wild Card team with the best record would play the Wild Card team that wasn’t picked by a division winner.
- For the Wild Card round, it would be a best-of-three format. Whichever team has the higher seed for the matchup would host all three games.
- The three winners would join the best overall team in the regular season (that received a bye) and advance to the Division Series. Things would proceed as they have before from the DS on.
The feelings on this proposal are “mixed,” according to Rogers, who says that some players are not thrilled with it due to some teams having near .500 records (or below) making the playoffs but more players would be in the playoffs (and get playoff shares).
Owners and general managers are mixed as well since some don’t like “the idea of a televised event on the Sunday night before the playoffs begin where opponents would be chosen” since “[i]t’s ripe for second-guessing and perhaps even bulletin-board material.”
But the thought of having more fans and more teams being more engaged in playoff talks in August and September could be enough for it to happen, but, right now, anything could change with the CBA negotiations.