The 32nd franchise selection
I’m going to cross off Las Vegas from this list first. I do not think they will be an expansion city, as I believe it is inevitable the Oakland Athletics will relocate to Sin City. This sucks for the passionate fans of the Bay and the great history of baseball in Oakland, but their ownership seems determined to run the franchise into the ground before moving to Vegas.
I have a similar view when looking at Montreal. To our younger generation, there was a time when baseball was in Montreal. The Expos (fantastic uniforms), were an MLB team from 1969 until 2004, when they became the Washington Nationals. Their 36-year history can be summarized by terrible ownership, a singular playoff run, and one of the most heartbreaking stories in baseball history in 1994.
The city appears interested in a return of baseball, and its population of 4 million makes them extremely attractive. That being said, much like the Athletics, I believe it is inevitable that the Tampa Bay Rays will end up in Montreal. They already tried the shared team plan and barring something unforeseen, I think the Rays will become the Expos eventually.
Because a second Canadian team could be on the horizon, I believe this would eliminate Vancouver from contention. I do believe that Russell Wilson's PDX Project in Portland is a legitimate group that could be in a great spot to add another team on the west coast. The other contender, Charlotte would also appear to be a viable contender, as it has over 200,000 more people than Portland, and one of the nicest minor league ballparks in the country.
At the end of the day, I believe the ability for MLB to add a team with the historical connection and value in the Southeast with Nashville, and pair it with Portland and their geographical advantages could make for a dynamic duo and bring a real jolt of energy to baseball.
Welcome to the Show Las Vegas, Montreal, Nashville and Portland! (I'm terribly sorry to the fans in Oakland and Tampa Bay)