1977 Expansion Plan
We will soon be recruiting 4 courageous owners who want the challenge of taking on an expansion team. Sitemail me if you are interested. We will hold the expansion draft shortly after the 1976 season begins, which should be around February 2015. The 1977 season will likely commence in April 2015.
Current teams will donate 1 or 2 players to the expansion draft. Each current team would have to comply with ONE of the five options below:
1 - one 180+ IP pitcher
2 - two pitchers with 200+ combined IP
3 - one position player with 500+ plate appearances
4 - two position players with 600+ combined plate appearances
5 - one 90+ IP pitcher and one positional player with 400+ PA's
Expansion draft will be 22 rounds (21 players + ballpark). Expansion draft will include the current team donations from above, players not drafted after the 1976 draft, and 8 specific players held back from the 1975 and 1976 drafts.
Here are the 8 players that will be held back from the 1975 and 1976 drafts and will be made available in the expansion draft: SS Doug Flynn, OF Mike Vail, 3B Phil Mankowski, OF Jerry Turner, P Dave Heaverlo, P Gene Pentz, P Bob Myrick, and P Rick Sawyer.
Expansion teams will have 21 players after the expansion draft. Expansion teams will post their keeper list just like the current owners. Expansion teams will participate in the regular 1977 draft along with current owners. Expansion teams will each get TWO picks in the first round and TWO picks each in the second round. The expansion teams will hold the top eight picks (two per expansion team) in each of the first 2 rounds. Expansion teams will hold the top four picks (one pick per expansion team) starting in round three and each round thereafter.
Expansion from 20 to 24 teams will create six divisions with 4 teams in each division. There will be 6 division winners and 2 wild card teams that will make the playoffs. The first round of the playoffs (League Divisional Series or LDS) will be best of five series. LCS and WS matches will remain best of 7 series. The four expansion teams will be placed in 4 different divisions. Two expansion teams will go in the NL and two in the AL. The expansion teams will be required to stay in the same ballpark/city for a minimum of three seasons.
In 1977 only, we will do a 6/4 AAA split (6 hitters as normal, but 4 pitchers instead of 2). AVERAGE AAA players in 1977. In 1978 and beyond, the plan will be to return to below average AAA, and with a 6/2 split.
Note: The expansion teams will be allowed to make the top 8 draft picks (2 per expansion team) from the 1977 rookie class before the expansion draft begins.