Phillies and Yankees as division rivals? Could be in 2020 ...

New proposal for baseball in 2020
The Phillies may potentially have new divisional opponents in 2020 if Major League Baseball moves forward with a proposal that eliminates the American and National Leagues for the year.

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY cited an anonymous MLB source that outlined a proposal where all 30 teams return to their spring training sites in Arizona and Florida and play contests in those two states in front of empty stadiums.

The idea is to reduce travel and minimize risk during the COVID19 pandemic.

Per the source, MLB will have three weeks of Spring Training with exhibition games included. The regular season will be abbreviated but include 12 games against divisional opponents and six games against other teams within the respective state. The postseason could include two additional wild-card winners or some form of a knock-out tournament with the respective champions from each state reaching the World Series.

"It's a bit out there when you think about it," one National League official told the Philadelphia Baseball Review on Friday, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "That said, MLB is doing everything it can to make the best of this strange situation. If it gets us to play some baseball this year, I'm all for it."

The proposed divisional structure:

GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE
NORTH: New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates.

SOUTH: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles.

EAST: Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins.

CACTUS LEAGUE
NORTHEAST: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics.

WEST: Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels.

NORTHWEST: Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals.

The DH would be universal under this proposal.

At this point, nothing is near confirmed. MLB officials are in a holding pattern until given the green light by health officials.

"It's going to be a bit of time before we know what direction to move in," said one source. "This is what we need to do though, we need to have baseball back."
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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