Rob Manfred hints at when MLB expansion could happen

Major League Baseball has not expanded since adding the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1998 season.

But on Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred suggested that another round of expansion could be on the horizon.

Manfred said that expansion talks could start happening “quickly” after the league settles stadium disputes with the Rays and Oakland Athletics.

Oakland and Tampa Bay are the two most dire stadium situations in the league and are obviously front-burner issues for the commissioner. The Oakland Coliseum and Tropicana Field are consistently rated among the worst stadiums in baseball. The A’s are already trying to secure a stadium deal and relocation to Las Vegas. 

Major League Baseball has not had a team relocate since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington and became the Nationals for the start of the 2005 season. 

As for expansion, there will be no shortage of potential options.

Las Vegas would almost certainly be on the list if by some chance the A’s remain in Oakland, while Nashville, Portland and perhaps Austin, Texas, could be on the list. A return to Montreal would also be an interesting possibility, as would a potential team in Mexico. 

In the best-case scenario, an expansion would still probably be several years away. Not only because of the time it might take to settle the stadium situations in Oakland and Tampa Bay, but the expansion process itself will also take several years from awarding a city to getting everything in motion to get them playing.

Still, it seems like baseball has a serious interest in moving to 32 teams and that it might be happening sooner rather than later. 


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