Rob Manfred: Las Vegas is 'viable alternative' for MLB

With the NHL expecting to formally welcome Las Vegas as its 31st franchise this week, might Major League Baseball be the next to roll the dice and add an expansion team there?

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, appearing on The Michael Kay Show on Tuesday, said Las Vegas is definitely a "viable alternative" and the city's gambling industry wouldn't be a viewed as a negative.

"I think the whole 'You can't go to Vegas because there are casinos there' ... we passed that by a long time ago," Manfred said. "There's casinos all over the place. I see Las Vegas as a viable alternative. I would not disqualify it just because of the gambling issue."

The city is currently home to the Las Vegas 51s, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets in the Pacific Coast League.

Earlier this year, Manfred has said the league needs to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the players' union and resolve stadium issues in Oakland and Tampa Bay before considering expansion. The union also must sign off on any plan to add teams, but it likely would be open to discussions about balancing the American and National Leagues through expansion, according to a union representative.

"The idea of having nice, even numbers in each league would be a good thing," Manfred said in February of adding a club to each league. "The timeline, it's not immediate. It's not a topic we would begin to consider until we have a new agreement in place."