The 2012 MLB Winter Meetings are in progress in Nashville, Tennessee, but though the meetings are just in their third day, the MLB has already announced some major changes to its structure and future.
The first major announcement of the 2012 MLB offseason concerns the Houston Astros. The MLB owners unanimously approved the sale of the Houston Astros to Jim Crane. As a part of the sale, they will leave the crowded NL Central division.
Effective at the beginning of the 2013 season, the Houston Astros will join the AL West division. The move will result in the balancing of the current division alignment, which has burdened the NL Central with six teams for over a decade:
The Chicago Cubs, who finished in 5th place in the 2011 season, will -- as a result of the Astrsos sale and move -- join the league in playing interleague games all season. Because the AL and NL will have uneven numbers of teams, the Cubs 2012 schedule will feature interleague games all season, which also means NL teams may end up using the DH much more than in previous seasons.