Jan 31, 2019

What MLB expansion might look like

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

There is a growing sense around Major League Baseball that the league will eventually expand from 30 to 32 teams, and Portland, Ore. has consistently been mentioned as a potential landing spot.

Driving the news: The Portland Diamond Project, the group attempting to bring baseball to Oregon, recently revealed a list of 12 charter investors. One of them is Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The investor group has already committed a reported $1.3 billion to the cause, which would be enough to build a new ballpark. This is a major milestone, as it proves that the MLB-to-Portland effort is more than just a pipe dream.

The big picture: When I heard this news, I was instantly reminded of a Baseball America article from about a year ago that explained what MLB might look like with 32 teams.

  • "One proposal would be to geographically restructure into four divisions, which would create a major reduction in travel ... and add to the natural rivalries by not just having them as inter-league attractions, but rather a part of the regular divisional battles." (It would also likely mean every team would use a DH.)

The four divisions: The proposal assumes the two expansion teams end up in Portland and Montreal.

  • East: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals
  • North: Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Montreal (Expos?), New York Yankees, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Midwest: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royal, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers
  • West: Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Portland (Hipsters?), San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners

Go deeper: Longtime baseball scribe Jayson Stark wrote extensively on this topic for The Athletic (subscription).

Go deeper

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg campaign claims Nevada caucuses were "plagued with errors"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's campaign wrote a letter on Sunday asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns, The Nevada Independent reports.

The big picture: The campaign alleges that the process of integrating early votes on caucus day was “plagued with errors and inconsistencies,” and says it received more than 200 incident reports from precincts around the state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus threat grows, threatening some drug supplies

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

As the novel coronavirus continues spreading globally and China grapples with a limited production capability, there's a growing risk to about 150 prescription drugs in the U.S., sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The coronavirus has spread to more countries, with both South Korea and Italy stepping up emergency measures amid rising case numbers on Sunday. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,467 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health