Thursday, November 17, 2011

Houston Astros Sold, Team To Move to American League In New MLB Alignment

Well, the times are most certainly changing in Major League Baseball.  The Houston Astros were sold today to Jim Crane today for $615 million.  The bigger news is that the Astros will be moving to the American League in 2013 as part of the sale agreement.

MLB is on the verge of announcing a new CBA that will completely change the way baseball runs its season and playoffs.  Instead of 6 divisions spread out over two leagues, MLB is going to simply divide its teams into two 15-team Leagues.  The top 5 teams from each League will make the playoffs instead of the current structure of divisional winners followed by a wild card team.

Since there was a disproportionate number of teams in the National League over the past few years with the AL West having only four teams and the NL Central having six teams, MLB needed to even things out in order to make this new realignment work.  Hence, the Astros move to the AL West.

Right now it doesn't look like the realignment will matter much to the Astros.  This past year they were in the bottom of the NL Central division with a 56-106 record. That same record would have also put them at the bottom of the AL West division as well.

Obviously this was inevitable.  MLB wasn't going to force a successful franchise like the Cubs or Cardinals to move into the AL, and Houston has a lack of strong rivalries that will make it easier for the fans to adjust to the move.

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