Proposed three-division realignment does no favors for Phillies

Empty seats at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia
Major League Baseball continues to explore possibilities to get the 2020 season underway, and the newest proposal could prove to be challenging for the Phillies.

This newest idea involves clubs playing in their home ballpark, but without fans. The season would consist of at least 100 games and begin no later than July 2. Rather than the two league system, MLB will realign with three 10-team divisions based on geography.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported on this newest proposal.

The plan remains under consideration and hinges on the guaranteed availability of COVID testing.

Here's a look at the potential realignment:

East: Phillies, Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Nationals, Blue Jays, Marlins, Rays, and Pirates.

Central: Cubs, Brewers, White Sox, Cardinals, Reds, Royals, Indians, Braves, Tigers, and Twins.

West: Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Athletics, Astros, Rangers, Rockies, Padres, Mariners, and Angels.

Games will be played against divisional opponents only to limit travel, plus the postseason will include at least two additional teams.

Based on projections, the Phillies will have a tough go of things in this realigned scenario. Most projection systems have the club winning anywhere between 77 and 82 games. Those same projection systems have the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Nationals, and Mets each winning anywhere between 83 to 90 games.

In addition to this proposal, MLB is also exploring an option where clubs return to their spring training facilities in Arizona and Florida and compete against only teams based in their respective state. This proposal, per sources, requires players to live in quarantine for the duration of the season, or until testing is more widely available.

"We need to keep thinking outside the box," one National League source told the Philadelphia Baseball Review on Thursday. "There's a ton of moving parts that need to be considered, and if we want a season then we need to make some tough decisions."

Ticketing Update
The Phillies are in the process of reaching out to fans and will be offering refunds to fans who purchased tickets for any home games during April or May. Fans have the option to recollect the funds, or apply the refund to a credit for future ticket purchases.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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