A 16-Team MLB Post-Season Playoff Format Beyond 2020? Really?

Not that MLB owners and the MLBPA would care since the post-season is where the real money and the big bucks are, but...

Starting in 1995 (and I'm not counting 1994 because the strike ended the season early), when MLB went from four divisions to to six divisions and added a Wild Card team to the playoffs:  

If the 16-team playoff format MLB is using in 2020 had been in effect in MLB 1995-2019 (where the first and second-place clubs from each division plus the seventh and eighth best records among the remaining clubs would qualify for the post-season), 38 TEAMS with losing records (including one 75-86 team and three 77-85 teams) would have made the playoffs in 25 seasons.

If a 14-team playoff format had been in effect in MLB 1995-2019 where the first and second place clubs from each division plus the seventh best record from among the remaining clubs would qualify for the post-season and the club with best regular-season record would get a first-round bye, 11 TEAMS with losing records would have made the playoffs in 25 seasons. 

If a twelve team playoff format had been in effect in MLB 1995-2019 where the first place clubs from each division plus the three remaining clubs with the best records but not necessarily a second-place club (so that all three Wild Card teams could be from the same division) would make the playoffs (with the two division winners with the best regular season records getting a first-round bye), TWO TEAMS with losing records (the 1997 80-81 White Sox and the 2017 80-82 Royals) would have made the playoffs in 25 seasons.     

No clubs with a losing record made the four-team playoffs (three division winners plus one Wild Card team) 1995-2011 and the five team playoffs (three division winners and two Wild Card teams) 2012-2019

As far as the Cubs are concerned, as it happened they made the playoffs eight times over the course of 25 seasons 1995-2019 (in 1998, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018), but they would have made the playoffs five more times (1995 7th seed, 2001 6th seed, 2004 7th seed, 2009 8th seed, and 2019 8th seed) if the 16-team playoff format had been in effect 1995-2019, and although they would have just barely qualified in 1995, 2001, 2004, 2009, and 2019, at least the Cubs did have winning records in those seasons. (And given the randomness of a short baseball series where any club can beat any other club, I suppose anything could have happened).




A. L.: 
TOR (13-13) at OAK (20-9) 
CHW (17-12) at TB (19-10) 
HOU (15-13) at MIN (19-10)  
CLE (17-11) at NYY (16-9) 

BAL (14-14)  
DET (11-15) 

KC (11-17) 
TEX (10-17) 
SEA (11-19) 
BOS (9-20) 
LAA (9-20) 

N. L. 
COL (13-15) at LAD (22-8)  
SF (14-16) at CUBS (17-10)
MIA (11-11) at ATL (16-12) 
STL (9-8) at SD (18-12) 

NYM (12-14) 
AZ (13-16) 
WAS (11-14) 
CIN (11-15) 
MIL (11-15) 
PHI (10-14)

PIT (7-17) 

So while the N. L. is clearly more competitive than the A. L. the N. L. also has more mediocre teams (if the season ended today, at least two N. L. playoff teams would be sub-500, while no teams with a losing record would make the A. L. playoff cut). In fact, only five of the 15 N. L. clubs are currently playing over .500, while seven of the 15 A. L. teams are presently over .500.   

Dan Vogelbach picked up by BlueJays. There is some sunshine in the galaxy.

Cubs gain Wisdom.

kinda like caddying for the Dalia Lama...

Patrick Wisdom goes to S. Bend as 58/60 roster player.  29 yr old with mostly AAA track record. 

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  • Cubster 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    Lefty Matz to Cardinals. 4/44. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    With the CBA expiring on December 1st, MLB owners and the MLBPA have jointly agreed to move the contract tender date up from Thursday December 2nd to Tuesday November 30th (that's a week from today). 

    Then (presumably) the lock-out will start the next day (Wednesday). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Not that TJS is ever necessarily a good thing, but taking a year off from catching could give Miguel Amaya a chance to work on his hitting.

    His glove & arm were probably a year ahead of his bat coming into 2021, so once he gets going again hopefully he will be able to spend a significant part of his rehab working in the cages. 

    Also, although he won't be able to throw for a while, he should be able to work on his receiving during the summer, once he is cleared to resume non-throwing baseball activities.  


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    CUBSTER: Unless you consider Erick Castillo and Tyler Payne as legit contenders to be the Cubs back-up catcher in 2022, the Cubs have no catcher who is projected to eventually play in MLB anywhere near MLB ready.


  • Cubster 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    With Amaya's 2022 year as a catcher essentially an non-factor and Robinson Chirinos and Austin Romaine again free agents, It looks like any rumors of moving Willson Contreras will go quiet. At least Chirinos could hit (for a backup catcher). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released LHP Chris Allen, 1B Shendrik Apostel, INF Matt Burch, INF Widimer Joaquin, RHP Garrett Kelly, RHP Marco Prieto,  RHP Jorge Remon, RHP Dawel Rodriguez, and OF Vance Vizcaino, so the off-season Cubs Minor League Domestic Reserve List is now at 169 (21 slots are open).  

    Six of the nine players who were released (Allen, Apostel, Joaquin, Kelly, Remon, and Vizcaino) were Rule 5 Draft-eligible, and all six had been left off the Iowa Reserve List when rosters were filed last Friday. 


  • Cubster 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    sorry, posted in other thread.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Also, Justin Steele gets a 4th minor league option in 2022 (must be used in 2022). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: Of all the TJS rehab types, a catcher TJS rehab is probably most similar to a pitcher's because of the laser pinpoint rifle throws a catcher needs to make to 2nd base.

    So I would expect Amaya will be able to DH by mid-season (hitting shouldn't be a problem by then), and then (hopefully) be able to throw normally in games (as a catcher) at post-season Instructs and then maybe in the AFL, with 2023 Spring Training being when he should be 100%. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Yes, except a position player only gets a maximum of 20 days on a minor league injury rehab assignment, so the 30 extra days allowed for a position player rehabbing from TJS would mean a maximum of 50 days, whereas it would be a maximum of 60 days for a pitcher (the original 30 days that pitchers get plus the additional 30 days in the form of three 10-day increments). And this also only applies to players on an MLB IL. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    DSJ: Exactly. Even though he was just acquired in a trade, the Cubs still might opt to non-tender Ramirez on 12/2, that is, as long as he goes along with the plan. I doubt that the Cubs would non-tender him if he declines (in advance) to sign a 2022 minor league contract.  


  • crunch 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    well...that's one hell of a forearm strain.


  • tim815 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Arizona Phil. Would Amaya, as a catcher, be eligible for the TJS exemption?


  • crunch 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    w.franco (rays) extend 11y/185m

    not bad for a guy with 1/10th of a season service time.


  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Miguel Amaya to have Tommy John surgery. Will likely miss most of next season. (I speculate that he could maybe DH a bit in the second half and throw towards August.)


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    When you add in the arb-eligibility, that's gotta make Ramirez a real contender for Hermosillo's "non-tender poster boy" title