While the 2012 World Series is going to come down to the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers, the remaining 28 MLB teams will be looking towards the World Series titles that they will try to win in the future.
Offseason moves will be made my most teams with one goal in mind. Most teams will be looking to reach the World Series next year. The teams that are rebuilding will be trying to reach the World Series at some point within the next five years.
Things can change very quickly for MLB teams and they can find themselves in the postseason one year and on the outside looking in the next year. Over the next five seasons, almost every team in the MLB will have a chance to be a contender and some of them will perform well enough to take home the World Series title.
The National League West has emerged as a difficult division over the past two years, and the Arizona Diamondbacks are going to have a lot of competition when it comes to just reaching the playoffs. Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants are poised for success in the future.
That does not mean that the Arizona Diamondbacks don't have a shot at the World Series. Arizona is a young team with a lot of good talent such as Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton and Trevor Cahill. The Diamondbacks should reach the postseason at least once or twice over the next five seasons and from there, it will be up to their pitching staff.
The next five years will be part of a new era in franchise history for the Atlanta Braves. While Chipper Jones may be gone, the Braves can still have the success that they had when he was on the team.
With Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman and an outstanding pitching staff, the Braves have a chance to win a few National League East titles. Atlanta has a good chance to pick up their first World Series title since 1995 at some point over the next five years.
This season, the Baltimore Orioles surprised a number of people by reaching the postseason as a wild-card team. Baltimore was supposed to be improving, but they were not supposed to be this good yet.
With both Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy reaching the major leagues this season, Baltimore has some big-time talent that can help them continue their success over the next five seasons.
If the Orioles can make a few improvements to their starting rotation, they will be very good over the next five seasons.
After their massive Adrian Gonzalez trade this summer, the Boston Red Sox have freed up a lot of money to improve their team via free agency. Boston will now be able to fill all of the holes in their roster over the next two years.
Boston has been a traditional contender in the American League East over the past few season and they should look to return to that role after a bump in the road this season. With an improved rotation, the Red Sox could return to the World Series for the first time since 2007.
Following the 2012 season in which they lost 101 games, the Chicago Cubs have a long way to go before they can even be considered postseason contenders, let alone World Series contenders. Theo Epstein and Co. have a lot of work ahead of them.
The Cubs have already gone 104 years without a World Series title, and that trend likely will not be reversed during the next five years.
Under the management of Robin Ventura, the Chicago White Sox had a fairly successful season in 2012. However, the team’s window of opportunity is closing.
There were only three starters in the White Sox lineup that were under the age of 30. Chicago does have a young pitching staff, which should allow them to continue their success if they can find replacements for their older players.
Since the White Sox are only a player or two away from being a World Series team, it is conceivable that they could win a title in the next five years.
There are few teams in baseball that are poised for a better run of success over the next five seasons than the Cincinnati Reds. They already have a very strong core with Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips. In addition to that, the Reds have Billy Hamilton waiting in the wings.
The Reds also have an outstanding rotation that is anchored by Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos. Cincinnati should be representing the National League Central in the playoffs multiple times over the next five years thanks to the strength of their roster.
Things may not be easy for the Cleveland Indians over the next few seasons. The team has struggled to find an identity and they may look into trading away some of their talented players like Shin-Soo Choo (h/t Jon Heyman of CBS Sports).
Cleveland is going to struggle to compete in the American League Central over the next five seasons. If they do reach the postseason, they are going to have a difficult time getting past the rest of the teams in the American League.
The Colorado Rockies were one of the worst teams in baseball in 2012 and they have a lot to improve. While they do have a lot of talent with players like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, their pitching staff is a disaster.
However, the good news for the Rockies is that their pitching staff is filled with young starters that should continue to develop. If Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich and Jhoulys Chacin can reach their potential, then the Rockies could quickly develop into contenders.
As good as the Detroit Tigers have been this season, they will be even better in the future. Victor Martinez will be back from knee surgery and the Tigers will have a full year of Anibal Sanchez.
Detroit will likely bring in at least one big-name free agent this winter and that should improve their World Series chances. It is also important to consider that the Tigers have a number of good prospects such as Casey Crosby and Nick Castellanos that are close to being major league-ready.
It is well known that the Houston Astros were in rebuilding mode this past season. They put a lot of young talent out on the field and they only won 55 games.
Houston has a long way to go to be a contender. Five years is likely just at the beginning of their horizon for success. They will be much better as their players mature, but it is hard to see their current roster developing into a World Series team.
With all the young talent on their roster, it seems as if the Kansas City Royals should have be on the verge of becoming playoff contenders during each of the past few seasons. However, this has not happened yet.
The Royals still have a number of outstanding prospects in the minors. Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Montgomery will all reach and stay in the majors soon, and they could push the Royals to the next level.
The first season of the Albert Pujols era in Los Angeles certainly did not go according to plan. Even though Angels added Pujols and C.J. Wilson, they were not able to take advantage of their production and the monster year that Mike Trout had.
Los Angeles is going to be even more motivated moving forward and they should be considered to be a World Series favorite from here on out over the next five seasons. It would not be surprising if they picked up multiple titles.
Adding Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to a team that already features Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw makes the Los Angeles Dodgers one of the favorites in the National League for years to come.
With a new ownership that is willing to spend to win, the Dodgers should continue to find ways to improve their World Series odds during the next few seasons.
Spending a lot of money did not help the Miami Marlins reach the playoffs in 2012. They have already traded away Heath Bell, and the Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle deals will likely handicap their spending over the next few years.
Miami does have a lot of promising pitching talent that can help them out. Jacob Turner was acquired from the Detroit Tigers and he could become a star. Jose Fernandez has dominated the minors and he could reach the majors by the time he is 22 years old.
Based on their current roster and their young talent, the Marlins could be a surprise contender for the World Series at some point over the next five years.
The Milwaukee Brewers lineup is loaded with power hitters. Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks are all big bats in the middle of the Brewers’ lineup. They should be stalwarts for the Brewers over the next three to five years.
One of the reasons that the Brewers failed to reach the postseason in 2012 was because of their bullpen. Assuming that the Brewers can fix this issue, they will be a consistent playoff contender over the next five years.
The Minnesota Twins organization is filled with a number of very talented young players. Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks all have the potential to be very good players.
Over the next two years, each of these players, with the possible exception of Rosario, should be in the majors. Minnesota will be contenders in the future, but it may take a while as these talented youngsters gain major-league experience.
The New York Mets are in an interesting situation moving forward. There is a lot of talent on their roster, but they have many holes to fill.
New York’s direction moving forward will be determined in large part by what happens with David Wright. If the team signs him to an extension, then they will likely start spending to increase their World Series odds. However, if Wright leaves, the Mets will likely go into a rebuilding mode.
For the New York Yankees, losing in the ALCS means that they had a disappointing season. The Yankees are likely one piece away from being a World Series contender over the next five seasons.
Derek Jeter may not be around for the next five years, but the team should pick up a title while he is still in pinstripes. The Yankees will have tough competition in the AL East during the next few years, but they should still have no problem reaching the postseason thanks to the addition of the second wild card spot.
Pitching is incredibly important if a team is going to win a championship. The Oakland Athletics have been picking up a number of young starters and it has paid off for them this year.
Oakland has more young pitching on the way in A.J. Cole and Sonny Gray. For the Athletics to take the next step, they need to improve their middle infield.
The one problem for the Athletics is the division that they play in. The Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers will be contenders as well for each of the next five years.
Even after a poor start in 2012, the Philadelphia Phillies were able to get themselves back into the playoff race. With a big offseason, the Phillies can ensure that they are part of that race from start to finish.
With the emergence of the Washington Nationals, the NL East has become a much more difficult division. However, the Phillies should be able to be a playoff contender as long as they can continue to develop talent within their organization.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been building on their performance over the past few years and they are looking like a team that will be over .500 during a few of the next five seasons. Pittsburgh may even reach their first postseason since 1992.
Pittsburgh has some talented players, but they have a lot of issues that they need to fix. Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez comprise a nice core, but the Pirates need to do a lot to build around them.
There were a number of disappointments on the San Diego Padres roster in 2012. Cameron Maybin struggled this season, as did a large part of the Padres pitching staff.
The Padres have a lot of up-and-coming talent that has already produced at the big league level. Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal and Alexi Amarista will be a key part of the Padres’ turnaround. If the Padres' young pitchers can perform as well as their young hitters have, then they have a shot to be a playoff team.
After reaching the World Series in 2012, the San Francisco Giants have to be considered contenders to make it there once again at some point over the next five years.
San Francisco has an outstanding rotation with Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum. With a rotation like that, the Giants are a tough team to beat in the playoffs.
Buster Posey will lead the Giants' offense for years to come and they have a number of other pieces that can support him.
The biggest concern for the Seattle Mariners over the next five seasons will be Felix Hernandez. He is currently set to become a free agent after the 2014 season and if the Mariners lose him, then their World Series odds will drop significantly.
Even with Hernandez, the Mariners are going to have a difficult road to the World Series. Seattle has a young offense and they are going to need a number of improvements to become a contender.
One of the advantages that the St. Louis Cardinals have is that they have a good mix of young talent and veteran experience on their roster. That should allow them to be a contender for the next five years as long as they are able to add players via the free agent and trade markets.
The top prospects in the Cardinals organization will all be impact players and are close to the majors. Shelby Miller and Kolten Wong will be in the big leagues in 2012. Carlos Martinez, Tyrell Jenkins and Oscar Taveras will help the Cardinals continue to be successful in the latter half of the decade.
Even though the Tampa Bay Rays will likely lose B.J. Upton to free agency this winter, the team will still be in the position to be a contender moving forward. The Rays will likely turn to the free-agent market to replace Upton for the next few years.
Many of the Rays young stars such as Evan Longoria, David Price and Matt Moore are locked up for a while, so the team knows that they have a strong core to build around. Tampa will not need to do much building as their current team already is a playoff contender.
The Rays could use some of their internal options such as Hak-Ju Lee and Chris Archer to make improvements to their roster over the next few seasons. A World Series title during the next five seasons would be the first in franchise history, and the Rays are getting close to it.
After reaching the World Series in 2010 and 2011, the Texas Rangers fell short of that goal in 2012 after they struggled at the end of the season and then lost in the Wild Card Playoff Game.
The Rangers could undergo some massive changes this summer. Josh Hamilton could be on the way out, as could Mike Napoli. However, Texas does have Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt waiting to get a chance to start on a consistent basis.
Texas’ offseason moves this year will have a big impact on their chances for a World Series title over the next five seasons.
There has been a bit of a rebuilding effort going on in Toronto over the past few years, and it looks like the Blue Jays are getting ready to reap the benefits of it.
Toronto’s pitching staff has improved significantly, and Brandon Morrow looks like he is ready to take the next step and become an ace.
With Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion locked up for a while and young talent like Adieny Hechavarria, Anthony Gose and Travis D’Arnaud ready for the majors, the Blue Jays could turn the corner over the next five seasons.
The Washington Nationals were supposed to become a very good team, but it was not all supposed to come together in 2012. Washington won 98 games and had the best record in baseball.
It should be expected that the Nationals will build on this experience. Having Stephen Strasburg around for a full season and the playoffs certainly won’t hurt their chances, either.
Bryce Harper will continue to get better as he gets older and he should continue to be a massive part of the Nationals' lineup over the next five seasons.
With just a few minor moves, the Nationals could put themselves in a great position to win a World Series over the next five years.