2026 Expansion

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During the 2025 season it was announced that there would be a 2-team expansion for the Lake League. The 2026 Expansion draft will occur following the 2025 postseason, to be scheduled after free agents file.

Background

When the league expanded for the 2025 season, adding two teams to the Metropolitan League, it left the leagues imbalanced, with two divisions of four teams for the LL, and two divisions of five teams in the ML, for a total of 18 teams. This left an undesirable schedule, which was entirely 3-game series all through the 2025 season.

Expansion back to 20 teams in total, four divisions of five teams each, was seen as the goal as quickly as possible. This was the number of teams that existed in the Bull League from 2012 until 2020.

Potential LL candidate franchises are being identified, but Green Bay, WI is among the first selections to be awarded. That new franchise will be in the LL West division. The second franchise was awarded to Detroit, MI. It is the second time a Bull League team has come to Detroit, with the former franchise being the Detroit Motorheads.

Procedure

The draft will be a "serpentine" style draft of 35 rounds.

Each of the existing Bull League clubs were allowed to protect 23 players from their organization, over and above the automatic protection afforded to any player with less than 4 years of service time. In addition, recent expansion teams Atlanta Fire Ants and Denver Grizzlies would be entirely protected in the draft.

References