Next CBA likely to add two wild card teams and one-game playoff


Via Joel Sherman, the owners and MLBPA have essentially agreed to add a second wildcard team to each league, and having a one-game playoff  determine which wildcard club advances. It would increase the importance of winning the division, but also give the owners the ability to make more money. Sherman says the two sides are still finalizing how they will create two 15-team leagues to help create a more balanced schedule, and they are also working on some draft stuff. Regardless, the addition of another wildcard team is pretty huge. The system could be in place as soon as next year.

Categories : Asides


  1. Mike HC says:

    Sounds smart to me. Adds an extra team to the playoff mix while also increasing the importance of winning the division. Big Ups to Selig and the owners for this move, in my opinion.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      There’s nothing smart about potentially knocking the second best team in baseball out of the playoffs in a single game. To say nothing of killing the awesomeness/novelty of current game 163s.

      • mustang says:

        “To say nothing of killing the awesomeness/novelty of current game 163s.”

        How are they doing this exactly?

        To me they are:

        Adding to the worth of the regular season because it will decide the division and an extra wild card.

        Adding to the worth of the division.

        Decreasing the worth of the wild card, as it should be because after all it’s second place

        • Mister Delaware says:

          “Adding to the worth of the regular season because it will decide the division and an extra wild card.”

          So you’re saying this regular season would be more interesting if Tampa Bay were fighting it out with Anaheim for Wild Card #2 rather than both trying to chase down Boston? Or if St. Louis were simply working themselves into the playoffs rather than gunning for Atlanta?

          Adding to the worth of the division.

          This is true, but I don’t see it as a good thing. Further punishes teams in very good divisions and further rewards teams in shitty ones.

          “Decreasing the worth of the wild card, as it should be because after all it’s second place”

          That’s not really true since the Wild Card is an League designation, not a Division designation. “Fourth place” should be the WC but that very often doesn’t work out so you risk letting a sixth place team get a free pass while the second place team is in a one game playoff.

          • mustang says:

            “you risk letting a sixth place team get a free pass while the second place team is in a one game playoff.”

            Yes that’s the risk for coming in “SECOND PLACE”. As much as I hated when only division winner made the playoffs I equally hate the wild card being so in par with division winners.

            • Mister Delaware says:

              Look at 2008, wild card Boston had 6 more wins than Central winning Chicago. The Yankees, who missed altogether, tied Chicago. And you see the real problem that the wild card isn’t further handicapped?

              • mustang says:

                LA Angels- Div
                Tampa Bay- Div
                Boston- WC
                NY Yankees- nothing
                Chicago Sox-Div

                Under the new system the Yankees and Sox would of played a sudden death wild card game at Fenway with winner moving on.

                If that’s not exciting I don’t what is!!!!!

                Thank you for making my point.

            • Mister Delaware says:

              (I should state what I want while we’re at it. Go back to 4 divisions, 8 teams each. Keep playoffs teams at 8, the 4 division winners and 2 wild cards each. FIRST PLACE overall plays the second wild card team. All best of 7.)

  2. CMP says:

    A one game playoff is just ridiculous though. It at least has to be best of 3.

  3. meaty balls says:

    awww man, that sucks butt selig shouldnt have any authority or power, hes justa bitter old man who makes 17 mil a year.

  4. Matt DiBari says:


  5. UncleArgyle says:

    I don’t hate the second wild card idea, but id rather cut the season to 155 games and have a best often 3 in the wildcard round. Maybe expand the ALDS to 7 games while were at it.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I’m not thrilled with the one-game playoff, but they don’t want to make the wildcard round a best-of-three because it would push the rest of the playoffs back further. There’s also no chance they reduce the schedule from 162 to anything, the owners won’t give up the home dates.

      • JonS says:

        What if the wild card teams had to play 3 consecutive games? No day break in between, then had to play the ALDS the very next day. That would give importance to winning your division and also prevent any one game bs after 162.

        • Jesse says:

          Wow that’s real smart. Say the Red Sox and Angels are the two wild cards, say Game one is on Thursday in Boston, Game two on Friday in Anaheim, and Game three back in Boston on Saturday, and the winner travels to who knows where the day after game three. I’m sure both teams would LOVE that….

          • Jetrer says:

            hence adding to the importance of winning the division
            and the series wouldn’t have to go back and forth like that, the home games for the better team could be consecutive, or the better team could have all home games

            • Plank says:

              MLB fights for anything that will increase team values and MLBPA fights for anything that increases player salaries and quality of life. Why would either side agree to that?

  6. thenamestsam says:

    While this may increase the importance of winning your division and having the best record in the league (since you’d get to face the team that just used their ace to win the wild card round), to me this just lowers the importance of the regular season even more. The race to make the playoffs next year could realistically be between the 3rd and 4th place teams in the AL East. Ugh.

    • Mike HC says:

      Obviously nothing is set in stone yet and who knows how this is all going to actually shake out, but if this is accurate, I think it makes the regular season even more important. Winning the division is going to be crucial because nobody is going to want their entire season resting on one game.

    • Mike HC says:

      Also, if the 3rd and 4th place team in the AL East are the 5th and 6th best teams in the American League, then they deserve a shot at the playoffs.

  7. The Big City of Dreams says:

    Not a fan of this

  8. teddy says:

    nyy and bos getting punish for being good, nyy and bos battle for divsion, while tb can sit back and set price for wildcard. better idea best 4 teams make the postseason

  9. Rick says:

    I hope the long-term plan is to find two viable markets, go to eight divisions of four teams, and make the playoffs division-winners only. The thought of some team finishing third in their division and winning the World Series bothers me.

    In fact, I’ve always thought of wild cards who have gone on to win it all as somehow less legitimate champions, but I imagine that’s tilting at windmills.

    • Jetrer says:

      they don’t have 30 viable markets now, no chance any time soon for expansion, MLB owners would prefer contraction

      • Plank says:

        In a decade or so (whenever the war in Mexico gets resolved) Monterrey, Mexico could be an untapped market both for the population there and the huge amount of untapped corporate sponsors based there. New England and Philly are huge markets with only one team.

  10. Plank says:

    Why not just let every team into the playoffs and have a 162 game round-robin tournament to see who moves to the finals?

    That would be my ideal solution.

  11. Jay says:

    Man this sum bullshiii

  12. Plank says:

    The only two possibilities with having 15 team leagues are constant interleague series for two teams at a time, or constant bye-series for two teams at a time.

    Neither really makes sense, but I guess constant interleague would be better than no baseball at all.

  13. mustang says:

    LOVE IT!!!!

    Wow! Something smart from the MLB owners and MLBPA what’s next agreement in Washington?

    • mustang says:

      Coming from a traditional point of view I liked the wild card, but hated the fact that it lower winning the division from meaning everything to almost meaning nothing.
      This gives back some traditional worth to the division title while adding another city to the excitement of the playoffs. A one game winner takes all is the perfect way to start off the playoffs.

  14. Hate this idea. I don’t mind increasing the number of teams in the playoffs, but don’t make the one game playoff between wild-card teams so critical.

    I’d rather have the top 8 teams in each division make it like the NHL and NBA. I also really want two fifteen team leagues.

  15. Kiersten says:

    A one-game playoff is a terrible idea. I’m fine with the idea of the wild card having a disadvantage, but look at 2001. You’d have the 102-win A’s playing the 85-win Twins in a one-game playoff. Terrible.

    And two 15-team leagues? Ughhhhhh.

    • Kiersten says:

      If they keep divisions, this also totally screws over the Yankees/Sox/Rays. When was the last time the wild card didn’t come from the East? And almost every year the wild card team from the East has a better record than the West or Central winner.

      Get rid of divisions and balance the schedule if you’re gonna do this.

  16. John says:

    To people saying that they don’t like it since there’s too much at stake to decide in a one-game playoff: just win the damn division then. The race to win the division will be that much more fun to watch. Plus it adds two teams to the playoffs, which is never a bad thing for smaller markets. The current wildcard team should not have the right to a fair playoff series.

    • mustang says:


    • mustang says:

      “The current wildcard team should not have the right to a fair playoff series.”

      101% AGREE!!!!!

    • teddy says:

      how is fair the 2nd wildcard team has a advantage over the first one, 2nd wildcard team can set their starters rest guy, while the team in th first wildcard fighting for divsion

      • mustang says:

        So the first wild card team should of played better during the regular season not to be in that situation.
        Just thinking about all theses different scenario makes it more fun. How can someone not like this?

        • Sayid J. says:

          There are lots of reasons not to like it, many of which have been explained throughout this comment section.

          • mustang says:

            And in my opinion none of them strong enough to not do this.

            BOTTOM LINE:

            In a 162 game season the more games you win the better you make the chance of win a championship!


      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        while the team in th first wildcard fighting for divsion

        That’s not necessarily true.

        None of the teams in contention for the WC this year are also in contention for the division title.

        But, it could happen, and that would create more drama.

        Should they go petal to the metal for the division, or back off and line up their pitching for the WC. I guess it would depend on what they thought the chances were to win the division.

    • Sayid J. says:

      But what race to win the division? What divisional races would be going on right now? Granted, it’s not a great idea to take a single season and look at its implications, but this year the closest divisional race is SIX games! How does that add excitement? Has the Rays trying to catch the Sox not been exciting enough? Or would people prefer if we had worse teams fighting for less important playoff spots? Oh man! The excitement of watching the Angels and Rays fight for the last playoff spot so they can burn their ace in one game playoff against the Sox and then lose the eventual 5 game series. Sign me up!

  17. mustang says:

    Think about how much more fun it would be right now between the Sox, Rays, Angles, Braves, Giants, and Cardinals with this system.

  18. JobaWockeeZ says:

    At first I didn’t like it but actually the sudden death aspect seems pretty fun to watch. Division races will mean something again.

  19. FachoinaNYY says:

    In principle this sounds awesome… until the Yanks get knocked out one year in a one game playoff to the Tigers who were 10 games behind them in the standings and Verlander throws a CG SO.

    • mustang says:

      As a Yankees fan I would say the Yankees have the chance in 162 games and in 18 games against the division winner not to be in that position.

  20. Rosco says:

    In the current system if the Red Sox are the wild card team and the Yankees have the best record why is it that the Yankees can’t play the Sox in the first round? Shouldn’t it be the team with the best record gets to play the forth best team no matter if it’s the wild card team or division winner?

    • FachoinaNYY says:

      The rule is two teams in the same division cannot play each other in the first round I believe… I personally would not want to face the sox in a short series, even given their struggles of late.

      • Rosco says:

        I wouldn’t want to face the Sox or the Rays in a short series either but let’s say the wildcard team came from the Central this year, wouldn’t you rather face the Indians then the Yankees or Rangers in a short series? The rules for somethings MLB does I just don’t get sometimes.

  21. dc1874 says:

    Astros…welcome to the American League!!!!

  22. MayorKoch says:

    Giving more importance to winning the division and providing two sudden death games to begin the playoffs every year are worthy enough accomplishments to put up with the flaws that have been discussed above. Actually I think the MLB marketing guys are really pushing the one game playoff idea because it will be a great way to lead into the whole playoff season.

    I’m a little surprised we have not heard more about expansion as 15 team leagues are problematic. Maybe the owners are waiting to discuss after the new agreement is signed. Bring on the Portland Timbers and the Brooklyn Kotters!!!

    • Rosco says:

      If they did expand would Puerto Rico get a shot at a team?

    • mustang says:

      “Giving more importance to winning the division and providing two sudden death games to begin the playoffs every year are worthy enough accomplishments to put up with the flaws that have been discussed above.”

      Yes Sir!

  23. Pat D says:

    One-game playoff = terrible, terrible idea unless every team is playing the exact same schedule.

    Jeez, just end the divisions already, they serve no more purpose in a wild-card infested world.

    • Heisenberg says:

      One-game playoff = terrible, terrible idea unless every team is playing the exact same schedule.


      Jeez, just end the divisions already, they serve no more purpose in a wild-card infested world.

      And this.

  24. The Fallen Phoenix says:

    This is ridiculous. Think about 2001, when the Athletics won the Wild Card with 104 wins. Yeah, too bad the 2001 Mariners were busy winning the AL West with 116 wins. A’s should have just won their division!

    There have been plenty of cases where the Wild Card is actually the 2nd best team in the playoffs, and to see them knocked out in one game is just absurd. It’s further punishing them for something they can’t control, namely, strength of division.

    • mustang says:

      “It’s further punishing them for something they can’t control, namely, strength of division.’

      They CAN control it just win more games!

    • mustang says:

      “A’s should have just won their division!”

      When you played the Mariners 18 TIMES yes you should of!!!!

      • Sayid J. says:

        This flies in the face of the “Jose Bautista for MVP” logic. If Bautista shouldn’t be punished for things he can’t control (below average teammates), then why should the A’s be punished for something they can’t control (a great division).

        And before you say “The A’s should just beat the Mariners! They can control it!” … one of those teams HAD to come in 2nd place, no matter how talented or untalented the division. So while you can control your destiny by just winning more games, if you’re winning 104 games in a great division you shouldn’t be penalized for it.

        • mustang says:

          Why not? They had there chance and failed!!!!

          You shouldn’t be reward for second place either. The current system just has the second place team too in par with the first place teams.

          The safety net of the wild card needs to be lower a bit so you can feel the floor.

          • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

            That’s just stupid. The 2001 Mariners were a historically good team, like the 1998 Yankees. How come the Red Sox didn’t win the division in 1998??? They played the Yankees 18 times!!! Sometimes a truly great team is in the way of another very very good team, and putting all 104 wins of the 2001 A’s, or any other team, in the balance of one game is absurd.

  25. Oscar Gamble's Fro says:

    Love it. Absolutely love it. I’m all for anything that puts more importance on winning the division. And the drama of a sudden death one-game playoff for the top two non-division winning teams — who really don’t deserve to be in the post-season anyway — is Awesome.

    • mustang says:

      Damn right!!!

      Puts some damn BALLS into an otherwise flawed playoff system.

    • Sayid J. says:

      Don’t see how you can say that the wild card teams don’t belong in the post season. More often than not, the wild card teams have had better seasons than some of the division winners. Not to mention, if a wild card team has a better record than a division winner, it’s likely that the wild card team had to do it against better competition.

      • Oscar Gamble's Fro says:

        Easy, you don’t win your division, you don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. The same way baseball did it for around 100 years. It’s really not that complicated, son.

        • Sayid J. says:

          Right, but that completely ignores divisional strengths, which is pretty dumb. Just because baseball did it for 100 years doesn’t make it right. Pretty faulty logic there.

          • The Fallen Phoenix says:

            Hey, Baseball didn’t let non-whites play baseball for decades. We should have just left it that way, it’s how the game was meant to be played!

          • Oscar Gamble's Fro says:

            If your division is too strong for you to win, that’s too fucking bad. You don’t like that system, than take out divisions altogether, play a completely balanced schedule and the top whatever teams make the tourney. Otherwise, you really don’t have a point.

  26. CMP says:

    Best solution is to have a 3 game Wild Card series that starts the day after the regular season ends with the team with the better record getting all home games.

    The division series would start the day after the scheduled game 3. This would only push back the AL division series 2 days and the NL division series 1 day which should be no big deal.

    It also makes winning the division much more important to avoid playing all those postseason games back to back.

  27. bkight13 says:

    Just go to 4 divisions in each league. No Wild Card just division winners.

    AL East-NYY, Bos
    AL South- Bal, TB, Tor, KC
    AL North- Det, Cle, Minn, CHw
    AL West- LAA, Sea, Oak, Tex

    NL East- Phi, NYY, Was, Pitt
    NL Central StL, Cin, Mil, CHC
    NL South Hou, Ariz, Mia, Atl
    NL West- SF, LAD, SD, Col

  28. Bryan G says:

    So for those opposed: if the two best records in the sport were both in the National League, should they play each other and leave the AL out? There will always be some kind of divisions and winning them should MATTER!

  29. mustang says:

    Worth repeating:

    LA Angels- Div
    Tampa Bay- Div
    Boston- WC
    NY Yankees- nothing
    Chicago Sox-Div

    Under the new system the Yankees and Sox would of played a sudden death wild card game at Fenway with winner moving on.

    That might of made 2008 a little more fun

    Thank you to my friend
    Mister Delaware

  30. Everyone is going to love this idea until their team gets knocked out by a lesser team

  31. Kevin says:

    I like the idea of a second wildcard, but being a philosophy dork I can’t let these arguments slide hahaha

    “You shouldn’t be rewarded for coming in second!!!”
    Then why do we have a postseason? Because of the idea that if a team crosses a certain frontier of being good, then they get a shot at the title.
    “Well then just nut up and win your division!!!!!”
    For much of the summer, the 3 best records in the AL were NYY, Boston and TB. Why can’t the Tigers or the Rangers “Man up” and win more games?
    “They play the division winner 18 times. They had their chance!!!!”
    The Red Sox have had the Yankees number all year. Much as I hate saying it, we’ve been thrown away like a used paper towel by Boston all year. And we all know who is winning the division.
    “It will make the end of the season more interesting, no more sitting back for the wildcard!”
    True. But won’t we see the same thing again, just moving the bar lower;Which will be even more frustrating when instead of the Yanks or the Sox chilling on a wildcard spot, it’s an Average team?

    I’d rather see the 3 division winners plus two WC, or just the top 5 teams geography be damned, with the bottom two forced to go into the one game lottery.

    Something I don’t understand: Why is it that an NFL Quarterback would KILL for a bye week, but pitchers complain about it throwing off their rhythm? I understand the contact aspects of football, but it shouldn’t be so pronounced should it?

    I’d like to see the team with the best record in the regular season get to PICK the opponent they want to face in the ALDS. THAT would make every game mean something. It would also add a real element of underdog to it for the chosen team if they pull the upset. “The cocky bastards thought we weren’t any good, we’ll show them!”

  32. nick says:

    three game series, game one on a thurs or friday night, game two saturday afternoon, if series is tied, game three that same saturday night. Hows that for drama.

  33. MikeD says:

    Love it.

    Creates additional interest by having a second wild card, but the one-game playoff is so risky that it greatly increases the importance again (and the advantage) of winning the division.

    Red Sox fans should hate it.

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