This article is part of our The Long Game series.
Another week, another proposed realignment from MLB to facilitate playing baseball again. This one would keep teams in regional 'pods' of three 10-team divisions based in Florida, Texas and Arizona. Sure, why not. Presumably at least some minor-league parks would need to be utilized, which could put a lot of funky park factors into play, but until one of these plans actually appears to be The One there's little point in speculating which hitters could benefit the most from playing regularly in Amarillo or whatever.
Of more pressing concern is what rebuilding teams might do with their top pitching prospects if there ends up being no minor-league season. Teams in contention should have no problem finding room on the big-league roster for arms who, under normal circumstances, would likely have pushed their way into the majors anyway. Rebuilding teams, however, have different factors to weigh – namely, the risk of losing crucial development time versus the risk of starting their service clock during an otherwise lost season. The Tigers face the biggest trouble with Matt Manning, Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal all knocking on the door and needing reps, but teams like the Marlins (Sixto Sanchez and Edward Cabrera) and the Blue Jays (Nate Pearson) also face the same dilemma.
None of those teams, however, play in the AL West, which is the division I'm focusing on with this column. The top pitching prospect name to consider in that scenario is Logan Gilbert of the