After months of speculation, it looks like Major League Baseball will finally add an additional Wild Card team to each league.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that, while the deal isn't official, MLB will increase the number of playoff teams from 8 to 10.
With the new rule, the team that finishes second in the Wild Card race would play whomever wins the Wild Card in a one-game playoff.
It's still undecided whether the rule will be put in place this upcoming season or 2013. The union has argued that the move shouldn't be made until the Astros go to the American League next season, which would put 15 teams in each league.
Here's a look at the pros and cons that this change brings.
Why it makes sense
The move puts the emphasis back on winning the division.
Once the original Wild Card rule was instated, winning the division stopped being a priority for teams. The only thing that mattered was making the playoffs. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted that in 2010, when the club won the Wild Card, they didn't put emphasis on winning the division.
I'm not taking anything away from Tampa Bay, but we didn't try to win the division, Cashman told reporters. We tried to line ourselves up for the playoffs and that worked.
The new rule will most likely eliminate the possibility of teams tanking late in the season. Previously, a team with a comfortable lead in the Wild Card could rest its players for the last few games. Now, teams won't settle for a Wild Card spot because they will want to avoid having to play a one-game playoff.
Division rivalries will be rejuvenated. In the past few years, regular season games between the two best teams in a division were often meaningless because both teams would make the playoffs anyway.
Ensuring that a Yankees-Red Sox game will have meaning is always good for the league.
It's a move that baseball purists will probably love. Division winners will get a reward that's better than just the chance of having home field advantage.
The best reason for MLB to introduce the rule is that it will keep more teams in the pennant race. More teams alive to make the playoffs will generate a more exciting September in cities that, otherwise, would have nothing to root for.
Why it doesn't make sense
The rule may make games more interesting between division rivals, but in many ways it places less meaning on the regular season.
Baseball's incredible last night of the regular season in 2011 would never have happened with a second Wild Card. Both the Red Sox and Rays would have played in a one-game playoff and the Red Sox's regular season collapse may have been rendered obsolete.
It also gives an unfair advantage to those teams that finish second in the Wild Card race. Two years ago, the Yankees won the Wild Card, finishing six games better than the Red Sox, who would have been the second Wild Card team.
Would it be fair for the Red Sox to advance in the playoffs after beating the Yankees in just one game, after they finished six games behind New York in a 162-game season?
The baseball regular season has always been the most meaningful in sports because of the limited amount of teams that reach the postseason.
In the NBA and NHL, over half the teams make the playoff. 37.5 percent of NFL teams are in the postseason. Before the move, almost 75 percent of the teams did not get a chance to participate in the postseason.
Baseball still has the lowest percentage of teams that reach the postseason, but the gap is closing.