If MLB Expanded Tomorrow

Over the past year or so, there has been a considerable amount of talk regarding possible expansion in Major League Baseball to cities including Las Vegas, Mexico City, Montreal, and Portland, Oregon. While we haven’t seen an expansion draft in over two decades, since the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks expansion draft before the 1998 season, I was interested in looking at how each team would prepare for an expansion before the 2018 season.

This hypothetical is similar to a reality faced in the National Hockey League this past summer. The 30 member teams of the NHL submitted protected player lists and each lost at least one player as the league’s 31st team, the Vegas Golden Knights, entered competition. It goes to show that expansion is always possible in major sports, and teams should be prepared.

I set the protected lists up under the following guidelines:

  • Every team must select fifteen players to protect from within the organization before the first round.  Following each round, three more players can be protected.
  • A team can only lose one player per round.
  • Players who were signed as amateurs or drafted in 2016 or 2017 were automatically protected.

Here are the lists by division! The first 15 are protected outright, the three following would be protected before round two, with the final three being protected before round three. Discuss, debate, and have fun! I will reveal my “expansion team” later this week!

Baltimore Boston New York (AL) Toronto Tampa
Adam Jones Mookie Betts Aaron Judge Marcus Stroman Christian Arroyo
Chance Sisco Andrew Benintendi Gary Sanchez Aaron Sanchez Chris Archer
Jonathan Schoop Jackie Bradley Domingo Acevedo Roberto Osuna Alex Colome
Dylan Bundy Xander Bogaerts Miguel Andujar Josh Donaldson Dan Jennings
Kevin Gausman Eduardo Nunez Aaron Hicks Devon Travis Willy Adames
Brad Brach Eduardo Rodriguez Gleyber Torres Anthony Alford Brent Honeywell
Hunter Harvey Chris Sale Tyler Wade Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Jose De Leon
Manny Machado Craig Kimbrel Giancarlo Stanton Danny Jansen Jake Bauers
Tim Beckham Christian Vazquez Luis Severino Justin Smoak Kevin Kiermaier
Trey Mancini Michael Chavis Jordan Montgomery Sean Reid-Foley Carlos Gomez
Cedric Mullins Sam Travis Brandon Drury Ryan Borucki Mallex Smith
Andrew Cashner Joe Kelly Greg Bird Marco Estrada Blake Snell
Tanner Scott Matt Barnes Estevan Florial Kevin Pillar Jake Faria
Ryan Mountcastle Drew Pomeranz Chance Adams Teoscar Hernandez Wilson Ramos
Mychal Givens Rafael Devers Justus Sheffield Randal Grichuk C.J. Cron
Anthony Santander Tyler Thornburg Albert Abreu Ryan Tepera Anthony Banda
Zach Britton Josh Ockimey Masahiro Tanaka Joe Biagini Nick Solak
DJ Stewart Brian Johnson Dellin Betances Yangervis Solarte Brad Miller
Mark Trumbo Carson Smith Tommy Kahnle Aledmys Diaz Austin Pruitt
Darren O’Day Marco Hernandez Freicer Perez J.A. Happ Adeiny Hechavarria
Colby Rasmus Heath Hembree CC Sabathia Curtis Granderson Justin Williams
Chicago (AL) Cleveland Detroit Kansas City Minnesota
Yoan Moncada Francisco Mejia Nicholas Castellanos Salvador Perez Byron Buxton
Michael Kopech Carlos Carrasco Beau Burrows Danny Duffy Jose Berrios
Reynaldo Lopez Corey Kluber Daz Cameron Kelvin Herrera Fernando Romero
Lucas Giolito Michael Brantley Franklin Perez Cheslor Cuthbert Max Kepler
Dane Dunning Mike Clevinger Isaac Paredes Hunter Dozier Jorge Polanco
Avisail Garcia Trevor Bauer Jeimer Candelario Jorge Bonifacio Jason Castro
Carlos Rodon Andrew Millerr James McCann Whit Merrifield Addison Reed
Yolmer Sanchez Francisco Lindor Jose Iglesias Brandon Maurer Lance Lynn
Welington Castillo Bradley Zimmer Michael Fulmer Seuly Matias Ervin Santana
Jose Abreu Bobby Bradley Shane Greene Eric Skoglund Stephen Gonsalves
Tim Anderson Yandy Diaz Jake Rogers Trevor Oaks Brian Dozier
Ryan Cordell Cody Allen Dawel Lugo Josh Staumont Miguel Sano
Nate Jones Danny Salazar Christin Stewart Foster Griffin Eddie Rosario
Eloy Jimenez Eric Haase Gregory Soto Scott Blewett Jake Odorizzi
Dylan Cease Triston McKenzie Mike Gerber Raul Mondesi Nick Gordon
Leury Garcia Willi Castro Daniel Norris Nathan Karns LaMonte Wade
Charlie Tilson Lonnie Chisenhall Victor Reyes Lucas Duda Logan Morrison
Nicky Delmonico Greg Allen Sergio Alcantara Miguel Almonte Joe Mauer
Ian Clarkin Nick Goody Matt Boyd Samir Duenez Kyle Gibson
Adam Engel Zach McAllister Alex Wilson Mike Moustakas Wander Javier
Greg Infante Yu-Cheng Chang Tyler Alexander Erick Mejia Adalberto Mejia

 

Houston Los Angeles (AL) Oakland Seattle Texas
Jose Altuve Mike Trout Franklin Barreto Nelson Cruz Adrian Beltre
Carlos Correa Andrelton Simmons Matt Olson Kyle Seager Elvis Andrus
Kyle Tucker Ian Kinsler Matt Chapman James Paxton Martin Perez
Dallas Keuchel Matt Shoemaker Dustin Fowler Jean Segura Yohander Mendez
Ken Giles Garrett Richards Jorge Mateo Mitch Haniger Ronald Guzman
Chris Devenski Kole Calhoun James Kaprielian Ben Gamel Nomar Mazara
George Springer Zack Cozart Jonathan Lucroy Dan Vogelbach Michael Matuella
Yuli Gurriel Justin Upton Stephen Piscotty Mike Ford Alex Claudio
David Paulino J.C. Ramirez Daniel Mengden Dee Gordon Keone Kela
Marwin Gonzalez Tyler Skaggs Sean Manaea Mike Zunino Joey Gallo
Alex Bregman Andrew Heaney Khris Davis Marco Gonzalez Willie Calhoun
Lance McCullers Leonardo Rivas Marcus Semien Edwin Diaz Delino DeShields
Gerrit Cole Cam Bedrosian Kendall Graveman Ariel Miranda Matt Moore
Francis Martes Jahmai Jones Blake Treinen Ryon Healy Matt Bush
Yordan Alvarez Michael Hermosillo Jed Lowrie Braden Bishop Leody Taveras
Charlie Morton Blake Parker Jharel Cotton Andrew Moore Jurickson Profar
Rogelio Armenteros Parker Bridwell Daniel Gossett Felix Hernandez Rougned Odor
Cionel Perez Jaime Barria Frankie Montas Max Povse Jake Diekman
Evan Gattis Nick Tropeano Grant Holmes Guillermo Heredia Miguel Aparicio
Brian McCann Jake Jewell Boog Powell Nick Vincent Cole Hamels
Brad Peacock Martin Maldonado Paul Blackburn Erasmo Ramirez Anderson Tejeda

 

Atlanta Miami New York (NL) Philadelphia Washington
Ronald Acuna Lewis Brinson Noah Syndergaard Odubel Herrera Bryce Harper
Freddie Freeman J.T. Realmuto Jacob deGrom Nick Williams Trea Turner
Kolby Allard Justin Bour Jeurys Familia Aaron Altherr Max Scherzer
Arodys Vizcaino Magneuris Sierra Steven Matz Maikel Franco Gio Gonzalez
Julio Teheran Monte Harrison Zack Wheeler Rhys Hoskins Tanner Roark
Dansby Swanson Jorge Guzman Amed Rosario Aaron Nola Victor Robles
Ozzie Albies Merandy Gonzalez Dominic Smith Vince Velasquez Michael Taylor
Ender Inciarte Jose Urena Asdrubal Cabrera Cesar Hernandez Ryan Zimmerman
Johan Camargo Derek Dietrich Michael Conforto J.P. Crawford Anthony Rendon
Sean Newcomb Starlin Castro Todd Frazier Scott Kingery Daniel Murphy
Mike Foltynewicz Dan Straily Brandon Nimmo Jorge Alfaro Adam Eaton
Luiz Gohara Sandy Alcantara Yoenis Cespedes Sixto Sanchez Sean Doolittle
Cristian Pache Kyle Barraclough Tomas Nido Hector Neris A.J. Cole
Mike Soroka Isan Diaz Andres Gimenez Adonis Medina Juan Soto
Max Fried Brian Anderson Chris Flexen Franklyn Kilome Erick Fedde
Jose Ramirez Jordan Yamamoto Travis d’Arnaud Jerad Eickhoff Wilmer Difo
Pablo Lopez Luis Guillorme Roman Quinn Brian Goodwin
Rio Ruiz Nick Neidert Wilmer Floress Ben Lively Ryan Madson
Tyler Flowers Braxton Lee AJ Ramos Andrew Knapp Enny Romero
Kurt Suzuki James Nelson Jason Vargas Zach Eflin Andrew Stevenson
A.J. Minter JT Riddle Matt Harvey Ranger Suarez Kelvin Gutierrez

 

Chicago Cincinnati Milwaukee Pittsburgh St. Louis
Anthony Rizzo Luis Castillo Christian Yelich Josh Harrison Matt Carpenter
Kris Bryant Eugenio Suarez Jimmy Nelson Colin Moran Paul DeJong
Albert Almora Raisel Iglesias Orlando Arcia Tyler Glasnow Jedd Gyorko
Ian Happ Michael Lorenzen Corey Knebel Gregory Polanco Marcell Ozuna
Kyle Hendricks Tucker Barnhart Domingo Santana Starling Marte Carlos Martinez
Mike Montgomery Jose Siri Adrian Houser Austin Meadows Alex Reyes
Kyle Schwarber Jesse Winker Travis Shaw Josh Bell Tyler O’Neill
Yu Darvish Billy Hamilton Manny Pina Mitch Keller Austin Gomber
Javier Baez Tony Santillan Chase Anderson Jameson Taillon Yadier Molina
Willson Contreras Anthony DeSclafani Zach Davies Cole Tucker Carson Kelly
Jose Quintana Jose Peraza Freddy Peralta Corey Dickerson Tommy Pham
Adbert Alzolay Brandon Finnegan Junior Guerra Felipe Riveroo Michael Wacha
Carl Edwards Jr Shed Long Josh Hader Joe Musgrove Luke Gregerson
Aramis Ademan Tyler Stephenson Brett Phillips Ke’Bryan Hayes Jack Flaherty
Jose Albertos Tyler Mahle Brandon Woodruff Kevin Newman Harrison Bader
Oscar De La Cruz Adam Duvall Eric Thames Ivan Nova Luke Weaver
Addison Russell Alex Blandino Jhoulys Chacin Chad Kuhl Tyler Lyons
Brandon Morrow Robert Stephenson Marcos Diplan Michael Feliz Jordan Hicks
Victor Caratini Aristides Aquino Hernan Perez Taylor Hearn Dominic Leone
Jen-Ho Tseng Cody Reed Jonathan Villar Nick Kingham Jose Martinez
Pedro Strop Amir Garrett Eric Sogard Steven Brault Kolten Wong

 

 

Arizona Colorado Los Angeles San Diego San Francisco
Paul Goldschmidt David Dahl Walker Buehler Fernando Tatis Andrew McCutchen
A.J. Pollock Ryan McMahon Chris Taylor Wil Myers Joe Panik
Taylor Clarke Jon Gray Corey Seager Manuel Margot Brandon Crawford
Marcus Wilson Kyle Freeland Clayton Kershaw Brad Hand Buster Posey
Chris Owings Charlie Blackmon Alex Wood Austin Hedges Madison Bumgarner
Steven Souza DJ LeMahieu Kenley Jansen Jose Pirela Brandon Belt
Archie Bradley Nolan Arenado Cody Bellinger Luis Perdomo Steven Duggar
Ketel Marte Trevor Story Justin Turner Dinelson Lamet Evan Longoria
David Peralta Brendan Rodgers Yasmani Grandal Bryan Mitchell Ty Blach
Patrick Corbin Yency Almonte Austin Barnes Matt Strahm Chris Stratton
Jake Lamb Sam Howard Yasiel Puig Luis Urias Tony Watson
Robbie Ray Raimel Tapia Keibert Ruiz Franchy Cordero Hunter Strickland
Taijuan Walker Ryan Castellani Pedro Baez Logan Allen Chris Shaw
Domingo Leyba Peter Lambert Alex Verdugo Esteury Ruiz Tyler Beede
Brad Boxberger Chad Bettis Yadier Alvarez Andrew Lockett Will Smith
Zack Godley Tyler Anderson Yusniel Diaz Hunter Renfroe Sandro Fabian
Jimmie Sherfy Antonio Senzatela Dennis Santana Javy Guerra Aramis Garcia
Braden Shipley Gerardo Parra Kenta Maeda Allen Cordoba Sam Dyson
Shelby Miller Adam Ottavino Brock Stewart Luis Torrens Andrew Suarez
Alex Avila Tony Wolters Scott Alexander Anderson Espinoza Ryder Jones
Socrates Brito Tyler Nevin Andrew Toles Jacob Nix Mac Williamson

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