In an Insider-only feature (1-15, 16-30), ESPN ranked all 30 clubs using what they call “an attempt to measure how well each team is set up for sustained success over the next five years.” The rankings are based on five categories — Major League talent, minor league talent, finances, front office, and roster flexibility.
The Rangers claim the top spot with a score of 88.7 (out of 100) and the Yankees were second at 79.6. Pretty big gap there. The Cardinals were right there in third at 79.5, so we might as well call New York and St. Louis numbers 2A and 2B. The write-up includes all the usual storylines — the Yankees have an older core, a huge payroll, and just about all of their young pitchers took a step back this season — and notes that the Bombers also ranked second behind Texas in their preseason rankings. I missed those, apparently.