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Selig says disparity may lead to less teams

TEMPE, Ariz. — Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Sunday he would not rule out anything in attempts to handle the league's salary disparity, and that could include the subtraction of franchises.

"I will tell you today that the economic situation is so significant, and as I would call it pervasive, that I wouldn't take contraction off the table," Selig said. "It's one of the options out there that we are considering. No question about it, I have had a change of heart."

Selig made the comments Sunday before the exhibition game between the Oakland A's and Anaheim Angels in Tempe, Ariz.

"A year ago, if you had asked me about contraction, I would have said that I don't like that idea and I had spent a lot of time thinking about it," Selig said.

Selig said that he was proud that baseball has not moved a team in nearly 30 years, but also acknowledged it is an option.

Selig said that the disparity between team payrolls is the first thing people usually ask him about.

"It's the No. 1 question," Selig said. "I don't think that any of us ever believed that the disparity, both in terms of payroll and gross revenue, would get to what it is so far. Therefore, we want to try to solve it. We need to do everything that we have to do. So, there are no options that are off the table."

Selig said he hopes owners and players can avoid a work stoppage after the season when the collective bargaining agreement is up, but said he learned a long time ago not to make predictions.

"(Baseball's) renaissance is so good, that the only thing that can impede it is us," Selig said. "The game is very popular. Hopefully, we don't have what we had eight times in my baseball career — that is, work stoppage.