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Future MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Will Stand 3 Years from Now

Mike RosenbaumMLB Prospects Lead WriterAugust 7, 2014

Future MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Will Stand 3 Years from Now

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    There’s less than two months remaining in the regular season, but the playoff races in both leagues are anything but decided.

    However, because we focus more on the future of baseball rather than the present here at Prospect Pipeline, we thought we’d explore how all 30 teams might fare three years from now in 2017.

    We looked at the following criteria in order to appropriately rank each team:

    Current Contracts: Players signed through 2017, including those with options for that year and beyond.

    Upcoming Free Agents: Players who will become free agents before the 2017 season.

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players: Players under team control through 2017 who will enter their first year of arbitration; MLB players only.

    Notable 2014 Rookies: Rookies who have debuted and contributed in the major leagues this season; first year of arbitration is yet to be established.

    Impact Prospects: Prospects who are expected to make an impact before the end of 2017 and would currently rank in the top 100 overall.

    Now, it’s important to remember that these rankings do not take into account any future free-agent signings or trades. Instead, we focused on the aspects that are predictable but still have the potential to influence a team's future success.

    With all that being said, here is our ranking of where all 30 teams will stand three years from now.

     

    *All contract information courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

    *All roster information courtesy of either MLB Depth Charts or Baseball Reference

30. Philadelphia Phillies

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    1B Ryan Howard (5 years/$125M for 2012-16, plus 2017 option)

    LHP Cole Hamels (6 years/$144M for 2013-18, plus 2019 option)

    2B Chase Utley (2 years/$27M for 2014-15, plus 2016-18 options)

    C Carlos Ruiz (3 years/$26M for 2014-16, plus 2017 club option)

    RHP Miguel Gonzalez (3 years/$12M for 2014-16, plus 2017 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2015: SS Jimmy Rollins

    After 2015: LHP Cliff Lee (plus 2016 club option with a possible guarantee)

    After 2017: OF Ben Revere

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: OF Domonic Brown

    2017: 3B Cody Asche, 1B Darin Ruf

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    RHP Ken Giles

     

    Impact Prospects

    SS J.P. Crawford, RHP Aaron Nola, 3B Maikel Franco

     

    2017 Outlook: The Phillies' days as a perennial contender are behind them, though they apparently refuse to believe it. The organization has wasted countless opportunities to rebuild by trading away attractive trade chips such as Utley, Cliff Lee and Hamels, and it now faces a potential turnover, which could last well beyond the 2017 season.

29. San Francisco Giants

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    RHP Matt Cain (6 years/$127.5M for 2012-17, plus 2018 option)

    OF Hunter Pence (5 years/$90M for 2014-18)

    C/1B Buster Posey (9 years/$167M for 2013-21, plus 2022 option)

    LHP Madison Bumgarner (5 years/$35M for 2013-17, plus 2018-19 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: 3B Pablo Sandoval, OF/1B Mike Morse, RHP Jake Peavy (2015 player option), RHP Sergio Romo

    After 2015: RHP Tim Lincecum, RHP Santiago Casilla

    After 2017: 1B Brandon Belt

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: SS Brandon Crawford

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    2B Joe Panik, C Andrew Susac, 1B/3B Brett Duvall

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Kyle Crick, RHP Tyler Beede

     

    2017 Outlook: The Giants’ current roster is a shell of what it was when it won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, though that was expected given the natural turnover within the organization. The team has done a good job locking up its best long-term assets in Bumgarner, Posey, Pence and Cain, but will have new holes to fill in the coming years should it lose Sandoval, Peavy and Lincecum to free agency.

    Unfortunately, the Giants’ lack of positional depth on the farm means they will have to pursue free agents and trades moving forward to improve both the infield and outfield.

28. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    RHP Matt Garza (4 years/$50M for 2014-17, plus 2018 option)

    OF Ryan Braun (5 years/$105M for 2016-20, plus 2021 mutual option)

    C Jonathan Lucroy (5 years/$11M for 2012-16, plus 2017 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: RHP Yovani Gallardo (2015 team option)

    After 2015: OF Gerardo Parra

    After 2016: OF Carlos Gomez

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2016: SS Jean Segura, RHP Wily Peralta, LHP Will Smith

    2017: 2B Scooter Gennett, OF Khris Davis, RHP Jimmy Nelson

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    LHP Wei-Chung Wang

     

    Impact Prospects

    OF Tyrone Taylor

     

    2017 Outlook: The Brewers have been a pleasant surprise this season, as they got off to a hot start and since have maintained a lead over the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds in the NL Central. However, given the contracts given to Braun, Lucroy, Gomez and Garza, the team is better prepared for success in the next year or two rather than 2017.

27. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    SS Jose Reyes (6 years/$106M for 2012-17, plus 2018 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: OF Melky Cabrera, OF Colby Rasmus, LHP J.A. Happ (2015 team option), RHP Casey Janssen

    After 2015: 1B Edwin Encarnacion (2016 team option), OF Jose Bautista (2016 team option), RHP R.A. Dickey (2016 team option), LHP Mark Buehrle

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: 3B Brett Lawrie, RHP Drew Hutchison

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    RHP Marcus Stroman, RHP Aaron Sanchez

     

    Impact Prospects

    LHP Daniel Norris, OF Dalton Pompey, RHP Jeff Hoffman, C Max Pentecost

     

    2017 Outlook: Like many other teams, especially those in the AL East, the Blue Jays are going for it this year, as it’s the last time they’ll have a solid positional core of Reyes, Cabrera, Encarnacion and Bautista, provided they decide not to re-sign or extend any of them.

    However, Toronto’s high-octane offense can only carry the team so far, which means it’ll need to focus on improving the rotation and bullpen moving forward. Stroman, Sanchez and Norris are all promising pitching prospects, but it'd be a mistake for the organization to rely solely on inexperienced arms while its window for success is still open.

    Regardless of how they ultimately fare this season, it’s hard to see the Blue Jays competing for a postseason berth in 2017.

26. Baltimore Orioles

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    OF Adam Jones (6 years, $85.5M, 2013-18)

    RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (4 years, $50M, 2014-17)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: LHP Wei-Yin Chen, LHP Andrew Miller, SS J.J. Hardy, OF Nick Markakis (2015 team option), DH Nelson Cruz

    After 2015: 1B/DH Chris Davis

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: RHP Chris Tillman, LHP Zach Britton

    2016: 3B Manny Machado

    2017: 2B Jonathan Schoop, RHP Dylan Bundy, RHP Kevin Gausman

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    None

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Hunter Harvey, C Chance Sisco

     

    2017 Outlook: The Orioles have only two players locked up through 2017 (Jones and Jimenez), while the rest of the team’s current roster are free-agent eligible in the next two years (Hardy, Markakis, Cruz, Davis) or under team control for the foreseeable future (Tillman, Machado, Schoop, Bundy, Gausman). Therefore, Baltimore’s window for success in 2017 isn’t nearly as appealing as it is in 2014 and '15.

25. Oakland Athletics

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    OF Coco Crisp (2 years/$22M for 2015-16, plus 2017 option)

    LHP Sean Doolittle (5 years/$10.5M for 2014-18, plus 2019-20 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: LHP Jon Lester, RHP Luke Gregerson, SS Jed Lowrie

    After 2015: LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Jeff Samardzija

    After 2016: 1B/OF/DH Brandon Moss

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: 3B Josh Donaldson, RHP Jarrod Parker

    2016: C Derek Norris, OF Josh Reddick, RHP A.J. Griffin

    2017: RHP Sonny Gray

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    None

     

    Impact Prospects

    SS Daniel Robertson, 3B Renato Nunez

     

    2017 Outlook: The A’s activity before the non-waiver trade deadline—specifically, trading prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney, and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes for front-line starters Samardzija and Lester—highlights that the team is all-in for 2014, while the subsequent years will be used to rebuild both the system and major league roster.

    It’s hard to discount the A’s formula for success even when the team is going through a “down year,” but I wouldn’t expect them to be in the playoff hunt in 2017.

24. San Diego Padres

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    OF Cameron Maybin (5 years/$25M for 2012-16, plus 2017 option)

    OF Seth Smith (2 years/$13M for 2015-16, plus 2017 option)

    LHP Cory Luebke (4 years/$12M for 2012-15, plus 2016-17 options)

    2B Jedd Gyorko (6 years/$35.5109M for 2014-19, plus 2020 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2015: OF Will Venable, RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Joaquin Benoit (2016 team option)

    After 2016: SS Everth Cabrera, LHP Eric Stults, RHP Andrew Cashner

    After 2017: RHP Tyson Ross

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: 1B Yonder Alonso, C Yasmani Grandal

    2017: LHP Alex Torres

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    2B/3B Yangervis Solarte, RHP Jesse Hahn, INF Jace Peterson, RHP Odrisamer Despaigne

     

    Impact Prospects

    C Austin Hedges, LHP Max Fried, RHP Matt Wisler, OF Hunter Renfroe, SS Trea Turner, OF Rymer Liriano

     

    2017 Outlook: The Padres have taken steps to get back on track over the last year-plus by drafting high-probability players and moving their best trade chips for young major league players.

    Yet, while the Padres’ starting rotation continues to serve as its strength, the team’s offense still has a ways to go in becoming a formidable, run-scoring threat. That being said, they have actively worked to improve their squad for future seasons, and 2017 could be the year they return to relevancy in the NL West.

23. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    C Miguel Montero (5 years/$60M for 2013-17)

    RHP Trevor Cahill (5 years/$30.5M for 2011-15, plus 2016-17 options)

    1B Paul Goldschmidt (5 years/$32M for 2014-18, plus 2019 option)

    RHP Josh Collmenter (2 years/$2.425M for 2014-15, plus 2016-17 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2016: 2B Aaron Hill, OF Mark Trumbo

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: LHP Wade Miley, RHP Addison Reed

    2017: SS Chris Owings, OF A.J. Pollock

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    RHP Chase Anderson, SS Nick Ahmed, OF David Peralta, RHP Matt Stites

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Archie Bradley, RHP Braden Shipley, RHP Aaron Blair, 3B Jake Lamb

     

    2017 Outlook: Besides Goldschmidt, who is signed through at least 2018, the Diamondbacks have too much money locked up in players who don’t fit their long-term timeline. They were able to free up some money by dealing Martin Prado and Gerardo Parra before the non-waiver deadline, which could be useful toward signing Miley, Owings or Pollock to pre-arbitration contract extensions.

    Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks should receive significant contributions, both on the mound and at the dish, from their farm system over the next few years. They also have enough overall depth to make a trade if need be. If the organization can make more decisions that fit its long-term agenda in the coming years, then I believe it could be in the mix for a playoff spot in 2017.

22. Seattle Mariners

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    2B Robinson Cano (10 years/$240M for 2014-23)

    RHP Felix Hernandez (7 years/$175M for 2013-19)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma

    After 2015: OF Austin Jackson, RHP Fernando Rodney

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: 2B/OF Dustin Ackley, 3B Kyle Seager

    2017: C Mike Zunino, RHP Brandon Maurer, RHP Taijuan Walker, LHP James Paxton

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies: SS Chris Taylor, LHP Ronnie Elias

     

    Impact Prospects: C/OF Alex Jackson, 3B/1B D.J. Peterson, OF Gabriel Guerrero

     

    2017 Outlook: The Mariners have done nearly everything in their power to buy a spot in the 2014 playoffs, which is understandable, considering that Cano and King Felix’s prime seasons are slipping away.

    The organization has a solid mix of high-ceiling and high–floor players, many of whom are extension candidates, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of those guys traded in the coming years so as to achieve more immediate success. Regardless, it’s hard to see the Mariners fielding as competitive of a team in 2017 as they do at the present.

21. Colorado Rockies

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    SS Troy Tulowitzki (10 years/$157.75M for 2011-20, plus 2021 club option)

    OF Carlos Gonzalez (7 years/$80M for 2011-17)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: LHP Jorge De La Rosa, LHP Brett Anderson (2015 team option)

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: C Wilin Rosario, RHP Jordan Lyles, RHP Jhoulys Chacin, LHP Rex Brothers, RHP Adam Ottavino

    2016: 3B Nolan Arenado, OF Charlie Blackmon, MIF Josh Rutledge

    2017: OF Corey Dickerson

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    1B Kyle Parker, LHP Tyler Matzek, RHP Eddie Butler

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Jon Gray, OF David Dahl, OF Raimel Tapia, SS Rosell Herrera, 3B Ryan McMahon, LHP Kyle Freeland

     

    2017 Outlook: The Rockies got off to a terrific start this year but gradually have fallen apart due both to injuries and poor performances as the season has unfolded. There’s a realistic chance that neither Tulo nor CarGo will be around in 2017, though that could potentially free up money to lock up Arenado, Rosario or Blackmon.

    Still, the team will need top prospects such as Gray, Dahl, Tapia and Freeland to pan out in order to compete with Dodgers in 2017.

20. Los Angeles Angels

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    1B Albert Pujols (10 years/$240M for 2012-21)

    OF Josh Hamilton (5 years/$125M for 2013-17)

    OF Mike Trout (6 years/$144.5M for 2015-20)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2015: 2B Howie Kendrick, RHP Huston Street (2015 team option)

    After 2016: SS Erick Aybar, LHP C.J. Wilson, RHP Jered Weaver

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: C Hank Conger, RHP Garrett Richards, LHP Hector Santiago

    2017: OF Kole Calhoun, LHP Tyler Skaggs

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    1B C.J. Cron, RHP Cam Bedrosian

     

    Impact Prospects

    LHP Sean Newcomb

     

    2017 Outlook: Though the Angels have Trout and Pujols locked up through at least 2020, the team is set to lose Kendrick, Aybar, Wilson and Weaver to free agency before 2017, which is why Los Angeles will be more inclined to go for broke in the coming years rather than take a long-term approach.

19. Kansas City Royals

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    LHP Jason Vargas (4 years/$32M for 2014-17)

    2B Omar Infante (4 years/$30.25M for 2014-17, plus 2018 option)

    RHP Wade Davis (4 years/$12.6M for 2011-14, plus 2015-17 options)

    SS Alcides Escobar (4 years/$10.5M for 2012-15, plus 2016-17 options)

    C Salvador Perez (5 years/$7M for 2012-16, plus 2017-19 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: RHP James Shields, DH Billy Butler (2015 team option)

    After 2015: OF Alex Gordon (2016 team option)

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: 1B Eric Hosmer, 3B Mike Moustakas, LHP Danny Duffy, RHP Kelvin Herrera

    2016: RHP Greg Holland

    2017: RHP Yordano Ventura

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    2B Christian Colon

     

    Impact Prospects

    SS Raul Mondesi, RHP Kyle Zimmer, LHP Sean Manaea, 3B Hunter Dozier, RHP Miguel Almonte

     

    2017 Outlook: Given the players the Royals have under contract as well as those nearing arbitration, all signs point to the team contending for a postseason berth in 2014 and 2015 rather than 2017. That’s not to say Kansas City will be a poor team in three years; rather, the lack of consistency from players such as Hosmer and Moustakas and the overall risk of its top prospects makes it hard to predict the team’s progress over the next several seasons.

18. Miami Marlins

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    Alan Diaz/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    None

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2016: OF Giancarlo Stanton

    After 2017: RHP Steve Cishek

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: RHP Henderson Alvarez, RHP Nathan Eovaldi

    2016: SS Adeiny Hechavarria, OF Marcell Ozuna, RHP Jose Fernandez, RHP Tom Koehler, RHP Bryan Morris

    2017: OF Christian Yelich, RHP Jarred Cosart

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    LHP Andrew Heaney, C J.T. Realmuto, RHP Anthony DeSclafani

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Tyler Kolek

     

    2017 Outlook: The state of the Marlins moving forward will depend entirely on whether the team can reach a contract extension with Stanton, who will become a free agent following the 2016 season.

    The organization should be in a good position to succeed in 2017 if it can lock up Stanton (and Fernandez) long term, as it also has a deep cast of young players on both sides of the ball that should be entering their primes within the next three years.

17. Cincinnati Reds

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    Al Behrman/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    1B Joey Votto (10 years/$225M for 2014-23, plus 2024 option)

    2B Brandon Phillips (6 years/$72.5M for 2012-17)

    RHP Homer Bailey (6 years/$105M for 2014-19, plus 2020 option)

    OF Jay Bruce (6 years/$51M for 2011-16, plus 2017 club option)

    RHP Raciel Iglesias (7 years/$27M for 2014-20)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: RHP Johnny Cueto (2015 team option), LHP Aroldis Chapman (2015 player option)

    After 2015: RHP Mike Leake, RHP Mat Latos

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: C Devin Mesoraco, 3B Todd Frazier

    2016: LHP Tony Cingrani

    2017: OF Billy Hamilton

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    None

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Robert Stephenson, OF Jesse Winker, RHP Michael Lorenzen

     

    2017 Outlook: The Reds technically are considered a small-market team, but the club’s ability in recent years to lock up stars like Votto, Phillips, Bailey and Bruce suggests it believes it’ll be a perennial contender.

    However, the Reds' success in 2017 will still depend on whether they extend Cueto and Chapman, both of whom have team options in 2015, and lock up pre-arbitration players like Mesoraco, Frazier and Hamilton.

    It’s also worth noting that Cincinnati has a trio of potential impact prospects in Stephenson, Winker and Lorezen, who should be fixtures on the big league roster in a matter of three years

16. Minnesota Twins

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    Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    1B Joe Mauer (8 years/$184M for 2011-18)

    RHP Ricky Nolasco (4 years/$49M for 2014-17, plus 2018 option)

    LHP Glen Perkins (4 years/$22.175M for 2014-17, plus 2018 option)

    C Kurt Suzuki (2 years/$12M for 2015-16, plus 2017 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2016: RHP Phil Hughes

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2016: 2B Brian Dozier

    2017: OF Oswaldo Arcia, C Josmil Pinto, RHP Kyle Gibson

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    SS/OF Danny Santana, 1B/DH Kennys Vargas, MIF Jorge Polanco

     

    Impact Prospects

    OF Byron Buxton, 3B Miguel Sano, RHP Alex Meyer, RHP Kohl Stewart, RHP Jose Berrios, SS Nick Gordon, RHP Nick Burdi

     

    2017 Outlook: The Twins don’t have long-term assets other than Dozier and Gibson on their current roster, but the team does have a wealth of impact talent in the minor leagues, which should begin to arrive in 2015. With future stars such as Buxton, Sano, Meyer and Gordon, the Twins could be nearly rebuilt by 2017 and finally hitting their stride.

15. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Ralph Freso/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    OF Andrew McCutchen (6 years/$51.5M for 2012-17, plus 2018 option)

    RHP Charlie Morton (3 years/$21M for 2014-16, plus 2017 option)

    OF Starling Marte (6 years/$31M for 2014-19, plus 2020-21 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2016: 2B Neil Walker, 3B Pedro Alvarez, RHP Mark Melancon

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: UTIL Josh Harrison, LHP Tony Watson

    2017: RHP Gerrit Cole

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    OF Gregory Polanco

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Tyler Glasnow, RHP Jameson Taillon, OF Josh Bell, OF Austin Meadows, RHP Nick Kingham, SS Alen Hanson

     

    2017 Outlook: The Pirates’ success in 2017 will depend on whether they re-sign Walker and Alvarez and whether they add a shortstop or any young arms in the coming years. They have a wealth of young prospects working their way up the organizational ladder, many of whom could emerge as enticing trade bait for the right return.

    Regardless, the Pirates have a system that should continue to grow stronger and fuel the team’s success at the highest level.

14. Texas Rangers

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    1B Prince Fielder (9 years/$214M for 2012-20)

    OF Shin-Soo Choo (7 years/$130M for 2014-20)

    RHP Yu Darvish (6 years/$56M for 2012-17)

    LHP Matt Harrison (5 years/$55M for 2013-17, plus 2018 option)

    SS Elvis Andrus (8 years/$120M for 2015-22, plus 2023 option)

    LHP Derek Holland (5 years/$28.5M for 2012-16, plus 2017-18 options)

    LHP Martin Perez (4 years/$12.5M for 2014-17, plus 2018-20 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: OF Alex Rios (2015 team option)

    After 2015: 3B Adrian Beltre, RHP Neftali Feliz

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2016: MIF Jurickson Profar, OF Leonys Martin

    2017: OF Michael Choice

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    2B Rougned Odor, MIF Luis Sardinas

     

    Impact Prospects

    3B Joey Gallo, C Jorge Alfaro, RHP Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez, RHP Luke Jackson, OF Nick Williams, RHP Jake Thompson, OF Nomar Mazara

     

    2017 Outlook: The Rangers have been plagued by injuries this season and will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year, but the future is very, very bright.

    The team has most of its big-name players, pitchers and hitters, locked up beyond the 2017 season, and its collection of high-upside prospects arguably is among the best in the minor leagues. The Rangers will need to improve their rotation and bullpen in the coming years, but the team’s offense should be stacked in 2017.

13. Cleveland Indians

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    1B/OF Nick Swisher (4 years/$56M for 2013-16, plus 2017 option)

    OF Michael Bourn (4 years/$48M for 2013-16, plus 2017 option)

    C/3B Carlos Santana (5 years/$21.0019M for 2012-16, plus 2017 option)

    OF Michael Brantley (4 years/$25M for 2014-17, plus 2018 option)

    2B Jason Kipnis (6 years/$52.5M for 2014-19, plus 2020 option)

    C Yan Gomes (6 years/$23M for 2014-19)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    None

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: 3B Lonnie Chisenhall

    2016: RHP Corey Kluber, RHP Cody Allen

    2017: RHP Danny Salazar, RHP Trevor Bauer

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    LHP Kyle Crockett, 1B/DH Jesus Aguilar

     

    Impact Prospects

    SS Francisco Lindor, OF Clint Frazier, C Francisco Mejia

     

    2017 Outlook: The Indians have remained competitive this season despite a shaky starting rotation—besides Kluber that is—which is a testament to the consistency of the team’s offense. The good news is that a majority of those hitters, such as Kipnis, Brantley and Gomes, still will be around in 2017, and the team should also have several impact prospects debut before then.

    However, the Tribe’s pitching situation remains a legitimate concern and will need to be resolved before the team emerges as a true contender.

12. Chicago White Sox

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    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    Current Contracts

    1B Jose Abreu (6 years/$68M for 2014-19)

    LHP Chris Sale (5 years/$32.5M for 2013-17, plus 2018-19 options)

    LHP Jose Quintana (5 years/$21M for 2014-18, plus 2019-20 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2015: 2B Gordon Beckham, SS Alexei Ramirez (2016 team option)

    After 2016: LHP John Danks

    After 2017: OF Dayan Viciedo

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2016: OF Adam Eaton, 3B Conor Gillaspie, OF Avisail Garcia, RHP Nate Jones

    2017: RHP Erik Johnson

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    C Adrian Nieto

     

    Impact Prospects

    LHP Carlos Rodon, SS Tim Anderson, 2B Micah Johnson, RHP Francellis Montas, OF Micker Adolfo

     

    2017 Outlook: The White Sox have been trending up since Rick Hahn took over as general manager in mid-2012, as the organization has acquired a host of projectable young talent through trades, added impact prospects through the draft and signed its best players to team-friendly, long-term contracts.

    The Pale Hose still have a ways to go to improve their starting rotation and bullpen, but I think there’s a decent chance they are in the playoff picture at this point during the 2017 season.

11. Washington Nationals

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    OF Jayson Werth (7 years/$126M for 2011-17)

    3B Ryan Zimmerman (6 years/$100M for 2014-19, plus 2020 option)

    LHP Gio Gonzalez (5 years/$42M for 2012-16, plus 2017-18 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2015: SS Ian Desmond, RHP Jordan Zimmermann, RHP Doug Fister

    After 2016: RHP Stephen Strasburg, C Wilson Ramos, RHP Drew Storen

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2016: OF Bryce Harper (MLB contract)

    2017: 3B/2B Anthony Rendon (MLB contract), RHP Tanner Roark

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    OF Steven Souza Jr., RHP Blake Treinen, RHP Aaron Barrett

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Lucas Giolito, RHP A.J. Cole, OF Michael Taylor, RHP Erick Fedde

     

    2017 Outlook: Despite sporting one of baseball’s best and more complete teams in recent years, the Nats have continually disappointed in October. Once again, they are more poised for success now rather than later, as Desmond, Strasburg and Zimmermann are set to become free agents before 2017.

    If the Nats can maintain a strong starting rotation moving forward and keep Harper healthy, the team could still be in the playoff hunt at this time in 2017.

10. New York Yankees

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    3B Alex Rodriguez (10 years, $275M for 2008-17)

    LHP CC Sabathia (5 years, $122M for 2012-16, plus 2017 option)

    RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7 years, $155M for 2014-20)

    OF Jacoby Ellsbury (7 years, $153M for 2014-20, plus 2021 option)

    C Brian McCann (5 years, $85 million for 2014-18, plus 2019 option)

    OF Brett Gardner (4 years, $52M for 2015-18, plus 2019 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: 3B Chase Headley, RHP David Robertson

    After 2016: RHP Ivan Nova

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2017: C John Ryan Murphy, RHP Dellin Betances

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    RHP Shane Greene, RHP Jose A. Ramirez

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Luis Severino, C Gary Sanchez, OF Aaron Judge

     

    2017 Outlook: The Yankees have an array of All-Stars such as Tanaka, Ellsbury, McCann and Gardner locked up through 2017, but by that time most of those players will be moving out of their primes.

    Therefore, the team’s chances of success in 2017 likely will depend on its acquisitions between now and then, as most of its prospects are raw and/or blocked at the highest level and will require a few more years of seasoning in the minor leagues.

9. Boston Red Sox

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    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    DH David Ortiz (1 year, $16M for 2015, plus 2016-17 options)

    2B Dustin Pedroia (8 years, $110M, 2014-21)

    RHP Clay Buchholz (4 years, $29.945M for 2012-15, plus 2016-17 club options)

    OF Allen Craig (5 years, $31M for 2013-17, plus 2018 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: RHP Koji Uehara

    After 2015: 1B/DH Mike Napoli, OF Shane Victorino, OF Yoenis Cespedes

    After 2016: RHP Junichi Tazawa

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: RHP Rubby De La Rosa

    2016: 3B Will Middlebrooks, RHP Joe Kelly

    2017: SS Xander Bogaerts, OF Jackie Bradley Jr., RHP Allen Webster, RHP Brandon Workman

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    C Christian Vazquez, 2B/OF Mookie Betts, 3B Garin Cecchini, RHP Anthony Ranaudo

     

    Impact Prospects

    LHP Henry Owens, C Blake Swihart, 3B Rafael Devers

     

    2017 Outlook: The Red Sox farm system thrives even when the team is having a down season at the major league level, which is why the Red Sox seemingly are only a year or two away from returning to the postseason.

    Besides Pedroia, the Red Sox have little money locked up long term and therefore are likely to aggressively pursue free agents in the coming years. And if a few of its younger players develop as expected, Boston could be a playoff contender in 2017.

8. Chicago Cubs

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    SS Starlin Castro (7 years, $60M for 2013-19, plus 2020 option)

    OF Jorge Soler (9 years/$30M for 2012-20)

    1B Anthony Rizzo (7 years/$41M for 2013-19, plus 2020-21 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2015: RHP Edwin Jackson

    After 2016: LHP Travis Wood

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: RHP Jake Arrieta, C Welington Castillo

    2016: RHP Hector Rondon

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    SS/2B Javier Baez, 2B/OF Arismendy Alcantara, RHP Kyle Hendricks, RHP Neil Ramirez

     

    Impact Prospects

    3B Kris Bryant, SS Addison Russell, OF Albert Almora, C/OF Kyle Schwarber

     

    2017 Outlook: The Cubs organization has had its sights set on the future for a while now—basically since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over before the 2012 season. With a pair of building blocks already in place in Castro and Rizzo, they can now let their impressive collection of impact prospects filter up into the major leagues.

    That being said, not all of those players are likely to spend 2017 with the Cubs; there will come a time when the organization decides to trade from its prospect wealth in order to land impact starting pitchers. If things go to plan, then the Cubbies should be a relevant playoff team in three years.

7. Detroit Tigers

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    1B Miguel Cabrera (8 years/$248M for 2016-23, plus 2024-25 options)

    RHP Justin Verlander (7 years/$180M for 2013-19, plus 2020 option)

    2B Ian Kinsler (5 years/$75M for 2013-17, plus 2018 option)

    RHP Anibal Sanchez (5 years/$80M for 2013-17, plus 2018 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: DH Victor Martinez, RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Rick Porcello

    After 2015: LHP David Price, C Alex Avila, OF Rajai Davis, RHP Joe Nathan

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: OF J.D. Martinez

    2016: SS Jose Iglesias

    2017: 3B Nick Castellanos

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    SS Eugenio Suarez, LHP Robbie Ray

     

    Impact Prospects

    2B Devon Travis

     

    2017 Outlook: The Tigers' recent acquisition of Price means that Scherzer will likely hit free agency after the season, and it’s hard to say how the organization will handle Porcello, who also will become a free agent after the current season. However, with Kinsler, Verlander, Cabrera and Sanchez locked up for the foreseeable future, the Tigers' window of opportunity should still be open in 2017.

6. Houston Astros

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    2B Jose Altuve (4 years/$12.5M for 2014-17, plus 2018-19 club options)

    1B Jon Singleton (5 years/$10M for 2014-18, plus 2019-21 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2015: OF Dexter Fowler

    After 2016: RHP Scott Feldman, C Jason Castro

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: DH Chris Carter

    2016: RHP Josh Fields, 3B Matt Dominguez, LHP Dallas Keuchel

    2017: RHP Collin McHugh, OF Jake Marisnick

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    OF George Springer, OF Domingo Santana, RHP Mike Foltynewicz

     

    Impact Prospects

    SS Carlos Correa, RHP Mark Appel, RHP Michael Feliz, 3B Rio Ruiz, 3B Colin Moran, RHP Vince Velasquez

     

    2017 Outlook: The Astros have been completely rebuilt over the last few years, with GM Jeff Luhnow focusing on acquiring young, cost-controlled players through trades and stocking the farm through a series of successful drafts. Like the Cubs, the Astros still have countless pieces to add before the team emerges as a playoff threat, but if all goes as planned, that could happen as early as 2017.

5. New York Mets

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    3B David Wright (8 years/$138M for 2013-20)

    OF Curtis Granderson (4 years/$60M for 2014-17)

    LHP Jon Niese (5 years/$25.5195M for 2012-16, plus 2017-18 options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2015: 2B Daniel Murphy, RHP Bartolo Colon

    After 2017: 1B/OF Lucas Duda

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: RHP Jenrry Mejia

    2016: RHP Matt Harvey, OF Juan Lagares

    2017: C Travis d’Arnaud, INF Wilmer Flores, RHP Zack Wheeler, RHP Vic Black  

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    RHP Jacob deGrom

     

    Impact Prospects

    RHP Noah Syndergaard, C Kevin Plawecki, OF Brandon Nimmo, LHP Steven Matz, 2B Dilson Herrera, OF Michael Conforto, SS Amed Rosario.

     

    2017 Outlook: The Mets may be the biggest sleeper in terms of 2017 success, as the team has one of the more projectable future rotations among all teams to go along with a promising crop of offensive prospects.

    However, it will be crucial between now and then for the organization to lock up some of its top young players, whether it's Harvey, d’Arnaud, Wheeler, Syndergaard or deGrom. If all goes as planned, the Mets should be in the mix for a division title in 2017.

4. Tampa Bay Rays

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    3B Evan Longoria (6 years/$100M for 2017-22, plus 2023 club option)

    SS Yunel Escobar (2 years/$13M for 2015-16, plus 2017 club option)

    RHP Joel Peralta (2 years/$6M for 2013-14, plus 2015-17 options)

    C Ryan Hanigan (3 years/$10.75M for 2014-16, plus 2017 option)

    LHP Matt Moore (5 years/$14M for 2012-16, plus 2017-19 options)

    RHP Chris Archer (6 years/$25.5M for 2014-19, plus 2020-21 club options)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: UTIL Ben Zobrist

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: OF Desmond Jennings, RHP Alex Cobb, LHP Jake McGee, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, LHP Drew Smyly

    2017: OF Wil Myers, OF Kevin Kiermaier, RHP Jake Odorizzi, 2B/SS Nick Franklin

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    None

     

    Impact Prospects

    SS Willy Adames

     

    2017 Outlook: The Rays already have Longoria, Moore and Archer locked up well beyond 2017, and it’s only a matter of time until Cobb, Smyly and Myers are approached about contract extensions.

    Meanwhile, the team will continue to do a remarkable job developing talent while trading high-profile players in return for long-term assets—because that’s the organization—which is why it's impossible to discount Tampa Bay's chances of postseason success in 2017.

3. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Andrew Nelles/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    RHP Adam Wainwright (5 years/$97.5M for 2014-18)

    OF Matt Holliday (7 years/$120M for 2010-16, plus 2017 option)

    SS Jhonny Peralta (4 years/$53M for 2014-17)

    C Yadier Molina (5 years/$75M for 2013-17, plus 2018 mutual option)

    LHP Jaime Garcia (4 years/$27M for 2012-15, plus 2016-17 club options)

    3B Matt Carpenter (6 years/$52M for 2014-19, plus 2020 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: RHP Justin Masterson

    After 2015: RHP John Lackey

    After 2016: OF Jon Jay, OF Peter Bourjos

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: RHP Lance Lynn

    2016: 1B Matt Adams, RHP Shelby Miller, RHP Trevor Rosenthal

    2017: 2B Kolten Wong, RHP Michael Wacha, RHP Carlos Martinez, LHP Kevin Siegrist

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    OF Oscar Taveras, LHP Marco Gonzales, OF Randal Grichuk

     

    Impact Prospects

    OF Stephen Piscotty, LHP Rob Kaminsky, RHP Alex Reyes

     

    2017 Outlook: Widely considered baseball’s model organization, the Cardinals are in a great position to compete for a World Series title in 2017, which could be the final year in the organization for many of the team's star-caliber players.

    However, as is the case every year, the Cardinals have a slew of prospect poised to make an impact in the major leagues during upcoming seasons. And don’t be surprised if they lock up players such as Adams, Taveras and Wong long term by then.

2. Atlanta Braves

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    OF B.J. Upton (5 years/$72.25M for 2013-17)

    RHP Craig Kimbrel (4 years/$42M for 2014-17, plus 2018 option)

    1B Freddie Freeman (8 years/$135M for 2014-21)

    3B Chris Johnson (3 years/$23.5M for 2015-17, plus 2018 option)

    SS Andrelton Simmons (7 years/$58M for 2014-20)

    RHP Julio Teheran (6 years/$32.4M for 2014-19, plus 2020 option)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2015: OF Jason Heyward, OF Justin Upton

    After 2017: LHP Mike Minor

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2016: C Evan Gattis

    2017: LHP Alex Wood, C Christian Bethancourt

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    2B Tommy La Stella, RHP Shae Simmons

     

    Impact Prospects

    2B Jose Peraza, RHP Lucas Sims

     

    2017 Outlook: The Braves have a long window to win a World Series, as the team locked up cornerstones Freeman, Simmons, Kimbrel and Teheran long term prior to the season. With a new stadium and TV deal, the Braves are expected to be big-time spenders moving forward, and they’ll need to spend to improve the starting rotation.

    They don’t have much on the farm at the moment, but Peraza, 20, has the makings of a top-of-the-order second baseman who can ignite the team’s offense. It wouldn’t be shocking if the Braves made a deep run into the playoffs in 2017.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Current Contracts

    RHP Zack Greinke (6 years/$147M for 2013-18)

    1B Adrian Gonzalez (7 years/$154M for 2012-18)

    OF Matt Kemp (8 years/$160M for 2012-19)

    OF Carl Crawford (7 years/$142M for 2011-17)

    OF Andre Ethier (5 years/$85M for 2013-17, plus 2018 option)

    LHP Clayton Kershaw (7 years/$215M for 2014-20)

    2B Alex Guerrero (4 years/$28M for 2014-17)

    LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (6 years/$36M for 2013-18)

    OF Yasiel Puig (7 years/$42M for 2012-18)

    SS Erisbel Arruebarruena (5 years/$25M for 2014-18)

     

    Upcoming Free Agents

    After 2014: SS Hanley Ramirez

    After 2016: RHP Kenley Jansen

     

    Upcoming Arbitration-Eligible Players

    2015: 2B Dee Gordon

    2016: OF/1B Scott Van Slyke

    2017: RHP Chris Withrow

     

    Notable 2014 Rookies

    None

     

    Impact Prospects

    SS Corey Seager, LHP Julio Urias, OF Joc Pederson, RHP Grant Holmes

     

    2017 Outlook: As you can see, the Dodgers will have most of their current star power still under contract through 2017, though they’re likely to shed some of those outfield contracts by then.

    With a seemingly limitless payroll, the Dodgers will be players on any major free agent who hits the market in the next three years, and it's almost a foregone conclusion that they'll extend Ramirez and also lock up Gordon and Jansen.

    Plus, they have a trio of young, impact prospects nearly ready to contribute.

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