Relegation and Promotion in North American Sports

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Relegation and promotion is something that is seen in European Soccer. It’s the process where the lowest teams in the league standings at the end of the season are sent down a league level. They are replaced by the top teams in the lower league. I’m going to be making this a series examining all of the American major professional sports leagues. However, to make things easier for this first article, I will be using baseball as my example.

I think this would be an overall benefit to the sport of baseball in particular. Instead of having teams pay their entire roster the bare minimum so that they can finish in the basement and just profit off of shared revenue, teams would have to meet a certain threshold to stay at the MLB level.

In the fantasy baseball world in my mind, 4 teams would move down at the end of every season. This also means that at the lower levels of AAA and AA, 4 teams would be moving down and 4 teams would be moving up. I realize that in the current system, these teams at the lower levels are part of the system of the MLB. To make up for this, I’d say that each team gets a 40 man active roster. In the event of a player recovering from injury, a club could loan that player to another club at a lower level for a specified period of time to make their rehab starts.

I could also see a scenario where ultimately the gap in talent difference between AAA and MLB is lessened. If there is a team near the top of AAA every year, I could see a top free agent deciding to go there and put them over the edge. Or bench players that don’t start often deciding to go to an upper tier AAA team where they will start every day.

This is a concept that I will be exploring extensively over the next few months. Not just for baseball, but for all of the other major sports played in North America. I welcome and appreciate comments and thoughts on this subject. I find this to be a fascinating concept.

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