Report: In-Season Tournament Between MLB, MiLB Teams Proposed

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Aside from the abbreviated 60-game schedule, one of the biggest changes that found its way to Major League Baseball this year was an expanded postseason.

Sixteen clubs — split evenly from the American League and National League — had an opportunity to win the World Series this fall, as opposed to the usual 10 teams in a normal season.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred believes the new concept will benefit the sport from both a financial and competitive standpoint. It’s something that reportedly was in the works even before the coronavirus (COVID-19) wiped out almost two-thirds of the regular season.

Manfred hasn’t been shy in proposing sweeping changes to baseball over recent years. According to J.J. Cooper of Baseball America, a single-elimination, in-season tournament dubbed as the “Baseball Cup” was pitched that would see MLB teams take on Minor League clubs:

MLB proposed the idea of having a single-elimination tournament—known as the Baseball Cup—in which the 30 MLB teams and all 120 MiLB teams would compete for a title held during MLB’s regular season.

The prospect of a Major League team taking on a Minor League club is difficult to imagine, but nonetheless intriguing if everything works itself out. Such a format is similar to the one European soccer competitions use, of which lower-level clubs take on powerhouses in yearly tournaments.

While it isn’t clear when a possible tournament of this magnitude will be introduced to the sport, both the MLB and Players Association would need to reach an agreement.

That may be easier said than done, considering both sides were unable to hammer out a financial plan for the 2020 season and the fact that the CBA is set to expire at the end of 2021.

Manfred: Expanded MLB postseason likely to remain beyond 2020

While the expanded 2020 postseason has garnered mixed reactions thus far, Manfred recently indicated that the format could remain in place for the foreseeable future.

He noted that a majority of the owners have already come to terms with an increased playing field, although the union will also have a say as to whether it stays or goes.

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