The 2012 MLB Winter Meetings are presently undergoing their third day of meetings, but have already made big announcements. First, the league announced the approved sale of the Houston Astros to Jim Crane, as well as announcing the Astros would move from the NL Central to the AL West -- which will make interleague play a year-round event.
The big announcements continued this afternoon as the MLB informed the media they will be going with two Wild Card teams per league, starting possibly as soon as the 2012 season:
Commissioner Bud Selig said owners also approved two additional wild-card teams for the postseason, meaning 10 of the 30 teams make the playoffs.
In an effort to make division championships worth more, the MLB has also added a one-game playoff for the two Wild Card teams. The winner advances to the League Division Series, and the loser enters the offseason.
The Chicago White Sox, who finished below .500 this year, may not care too much about the second Wild Card spot. In four of the last five seasons, the first and second AL Wild Card team would have come from the AL East division which features the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays.
The last time a non-AL East team won the just the single Wild Card was 2006, and from 2003 through 2011, that is the only time a non-AL East team has won the Wild Card.
The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, have not been nearly good enough to win a second Wild Card spot over the last five years, but should be rather excited about the additional opportunity at the playoffs since no one division has dominated the NL in recent history like the AL East has done in the American League.