Yankees rank fifth in ESPN’s Future Power Rankings

Spring Training Game Thread: Split Squad
Hot .GIF Action: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Betances

In an Insider-only feature (1-15, 16-30), a panel of ESPN experts ranked baseball’s 30 franchises based on “how well each team is set up for sustained success over the next five years.” The list was created using weighted rankings in five categories — Major League talent, farm system, finances, management, and roster flexibility — and expressed on a scale of 1-100. The Cardinals (84.3) top the list by a significant margin. Hard to argue with that. The directionless Rockies (19.2) were dead last.

The Yankees ranked fifth (65.9), down quite a bit last year (79.6), when they ranked second. They trail the Cardinals, Rangers (77.4), Rays (68.1), and Nationals (67.0). As expected, they graded very well in the financial department — despite the plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold — but were merely middle of the road everywhere else. As the write-up notes, their long-term Major League talent level is murky given the impending free agencies of Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, and others. Can’t say I disagree with that.

Spring Training Game Thread: Split Squad
Hot .GIF Action: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Betances
  • Jersey Joe

    Finally. I feel like the Yankees are being completely destroyed by national media. Finally, there is a non-criticism.

  • Erik

    Typo: Last year, the Yankees were second with a score of 79.6. The Rangers had the score of 88.7 for first place.

  • jjyank

    And if the Yankees are consistently the 5th best team in baseball over the next 5 years (3rd best in the AL), that’s not too shabby.

    • JLC 776

      Seriously – considering all of the baggage and questionable financial plans, I 5th of the list is downright bullish!

    • Who hates bunts more? Axisa or Earl Weaver?

      Yet they get Confidence Poll ratings of 6 – 7 on RAB every Monday…

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Objectively, that they ranked as high as 5th surprises me a bit. I was figuring the 7-9 area.

    • Guns

      Agreed. I expected them to be lower. Especially considering how the media loves to overstate the demise of the Yankees.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        The Blue Jays radio team had the Yankees as the 33rd best organization.

      • Jim Is Bored

        The problem is to be 7-9, there have to be 6-8 teams better positioned.

  • Gleb

    I really wish Banuelos and Slade stay healthy so we have a top 3 system next year.
    If Pinieda comes back in the last part of the end half and stays healthy(big if) then that goes a long way towards answering some of the rotation questions.
    Kuroda and Pettitte are one year stop gaps and when they retire we can use that money to shore up the roation.
    We need to figure out how long Jeter’s planning to play. If we can sign cano to 7ears, 8 max and if teix has can stop the steep decline.
    A-rod is a lost cause and I’ll enjoy the draft picks when Grandy leaves.
    This year’s draft is HUGE for the Yankees. HUGE.

  • LK

    Personally, I don’t think the I’d put the Rays ahead of the Yankees. There’s a ton of pressure on that farm system to turn out both quality and quantity consistently. The other 3 I’d have to concede are set up better than the Yankees.

    • Guns

      They’ve done nothing to make you think their farm will all of a sudden stop producing like it has in the past. Until that happens, I think you have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

      • LK

        I don’t think it will stop producing entirely, but I think there’s reason to think that it won’t continue to be quite so phenomenal now that they’re not picking at the top of the draft. I’d still have them highly ranked, I just think the Yankees are in a better position.

        • Havok9120

          Replacing Price is gonna be an interesting test for them.

  • LitFig

    The Rays are in an interesting position because they won’t get the financial backing to keep their own developed stars like the other top 5 teams do.

    I would put the Nats and Rangers top 2 because of the high-impact prospects/young players they have to go along with the lack of albatross contracts that will weigh down their payroll.

  • http://Riveravenueblues Mississippi Doc

    Is there a better run franchise than Tampa. They win with position players who are with one exception no name players and they consistently have produced terrific young pitchers. That city does not deserve that team.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      They also got a lot of those players by being incredibly shitty for a number of years.

      There are aspects of how that franchise is run that I’ll take, but I’d rather have the Yankees’ organization.

      • Peter Lacock

        Tampa had 10 consecutive years of picking at the top of every round of the draft, rule 5 and waiver wire.
        Essentially having first shot at every player that came of age for 10 years.
        They also have had hundreds of millions of dollars handed to them, they operate where the weather is always good and where there is no state tax but they have zero titles to show for it.
        They are a contender so they aren’t a total failure but it has to be a bit disappointing.

        Now everyone knows how long it takes to build a minor league pipeline if you get to pick first all the time.
        For the Yankees it’ll take twice as long, they are about 1/3 of the way there.

  • Tom

    Was a little surprised by the Rays.

    They will continue to need a stream of young pitching – they’ve been very good at it recently, but you have to think Price is moving on. While Moore may eventually step up into that role, I don’t think the depth is what people think it is.

    They also haven’t exactly been hitting on position player prospects. After BJ Upton the only guy of note since than that comes to mind is Jennings (maybe Zobrist – was he a guy from the farm?). Getting Myers from KC will certainly help and having Longoria locked up will help, but I don’t recall very many notable position player guys in their farm.

    Definitely think the Nats Rangers and Cards are all obvious and good choices. After that the Yankees are probably as good a choice as any, even if they have a few big contracts.

    • phil

      Noteable position players for the Rays: Mikie Mahtook – Of; hak ku lee ss; Richie Schafer 3rd/of and Drew Vettleson Of