MLB open to new clubs and has candidate list

No expansion teams have joined either the American or National leagues since 1998, when the Arizona Diamondbacks -- whose pitcher Randall Delgado is seen here on July 8, 2015 -- and Tampa Bay Rays first took to the field ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 08: Randall Delgado #48 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the sixth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 8, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP (AFP Photo/Tom Pennington) (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP)

Cincinnati (AFP) - Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday the 30-team organization is open to expansion and has compiled a list of candidate cities for potential new clubs.

Speaking ahead of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Cincinnati, Manfred did not give a timetable or specify the full list but indicated a willingness to grow the sport by adding teams.

No expansion teams have joined either the American or National leagues since 1998, when the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays first took the field.

"I think we are a growth business, broadly defined," Manfred said.

"Over an extended period of time, growth businesses look to get bigger. So yeah, I'm open to the idea that there will be a point in time where expansion may be possible."

Expansion candidates could include options in Mexico and Puerto Rico, where the sport is very popular, and Montreal, where the National League's Expos played from 1969 through 2004 before relocating to Washington and becoming the Nationals.

Montreal drew a combined 91,000 spectators for two exhibition games at Olympic Stadium, but a new ballpark would be needed for the major leagues to return there full-time, Manfred warned.

"Montreal has a great baseball history, which is a nice thing, and the market wildly supported two exhibition games in each of the last two years," Manfred said.

"Having said all that, it's a long ways from two exhibition games to 81 home games in a facility that is consistent with major league standards."