Detroit Tigers: Grapefruit realignment means even tougher schedule

The Detroit Tigers season may not be played; if it is, they may consider keeping the teams in Florida and Arizona and realigning the divisions.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 that is still wreaking havoc on the sports world, the Major League Baseball season is not a certainty at this point. The Detroit Tigers may not be suiting up for regular-season games in 2020; if they do, it may not be at Comerica Park.

The way things stand the Tigers season is in limbo, and they may be calling Publix Field at Joker Merchant Stadium home for the season or the beginning of the season. Major League Baseball has been exploring a season that would realign the American and National League into two new leagues.

There would be a league in Arizona, the Cactus League, and then Florida, the Grapefruit league where the Tigers would be stationed. The Grapefruit league would have been split into three divisions, the North, South, and East, with the Tigers being in the North.

Accompanying the Tigers in the North division would be the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Toronto Blue Jays.

The Tigers’ new division would necessarily give the New York Yankees a cakewalk to the postseason, depending on how long these divisions would stick.

The Tigers would seemingly have a stricter schedule going against these new teams, with none of them being from the original American League Central. The Yankees will run the division with the slugging lineup that they have. The Phillies should be contending under new manager Joe Girardi.

The Pirates are a dumpster fire like the Tigers, compare them to the Kansas City Royals who are in the AL Central with the Tigers. Also, the Blue Jays could be sneaky good with their young crowd and being a team that is finally turning the corner.

Frankly, the Tigers should just tank in the 2020 season to get another high draft pick and ideally expedite the remainder of this rebuild. With Riley Greene in 2019, presumably Austin Martin or someone comparable in 2020, they could add Kumar Rocker in 2021 and be set for the future.

Playing in the Grapefruit North division with the realignment will not help the Tigers cause to start getting better. In the inter-divisional play the Tigers will be facing off against teams like the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, and 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals.

The Tigers 2020 season will be tough to watch as it is, but taking a look into this idea of divisional realignment to start the 2020 season, at least it will give fans some baseball to watch. Hopefully, playing some teams, they do not play often will provide fans with a better reason to watch during the rebuild.

The hope would be that another high draft pick would allow the Tigers to keep the rebuild plugging along. For now, fans can tune in for some “baseball” by watching Niko Goodrum partake in the MLB The Show 2020 Tournament that Major League Baseball is currently running.

If the league does realign the leagues and division with hopes to start the 2020 season, the Detroit Tigers are going to struggle, they’ll struggle either way, but at least baseball will return.