- Mike Petriello, ESPN Insider
After months of trades, signings and speculation, what's most interesting about the nearly completed offseason is how little seems to have changed. Looking at most early projections, the predicted 2014 playoff teams seem to be very similar to the 2013 teams.
But, although it seems tempting to say the same teams are going to continue to be successful, the reality is that it never, ever happens that way. Five of the 10 playoff teams from last season weren't there in 2012. Only three of 2012's clubs had been playing October baseball in 2011; just four of the 2011 teams had been there in 2010.
Someone who made it to the playoffs last year isn't going to return there this year, and, in all likelihood, there are going to be multiple someones. With camps opening across Arizona and Florida, we can take a look at the three 2013 playoff teams most likely to miss out this year, plus the three clubs with the best chances to replace them.
The Pirates have an especially bright future because young starter Gerrit Cole proved himself last season, and outfielder Gregory Polanco and starter Jameson Taillon should arrive within the next year, as well. With NL MVP Andrew McCutchen locked up to a team-friendly contract, the Pirates have a young core to sustain them for years; 2013 was not a fluke.
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7dKevin Van Valkenburg
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