With the release of the MLB Future Power Rankings, it's interesting to see which teams our panel of esteemed experts think might be headed toward a five-year run similar to the recent success story of the San Francisco Giants, and which franchises seem doomed to endure a long stretch of rebuilding rosters and empty stadium seats.
Here's a quick look at five teams whose placement in this list jumped out at me, and the latest buzz from the rumor mill that might help to explain why those teams are ranked where they are:
Boston Red Sox at No. 3
Even though they're coming off an awful last-place season in which they lost at least 90 games for the second time in three seasons (after having not been so similarly inept at winning since 1966), the future still seems bright for the Red Sox. This franchise has a plethora of young talent that includes Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Garin Cecchini, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart that can just as easily be worked into the lineup as they could be packaged in a deal for an ace pitcher such as Cole Hamels.
Rumors of a falling-out between the coaching staff and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes could easily end up in a trade with the New York Mets or Cincinnati Reds that would help replace the pitching lost at this season's trade deadline.