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!