The San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, and Seattle Mariners, all have one thing in common, what is it? These five franchises all have yet to win a World Series title. With the Texas Rangers finishing the 2023 season on top, they have been FINALLY removed from this list. So, out of these remaining title-less teams, who has the best shot to end their drought?
The Race to Their First Championship
Winning a championship is the epitome of a player’s and franchise’s goals and dreams. It is also, as we all know, incredibly difficult. With the ever-changing landscape of the MLB, free agency, and the game itself, it is not a given for a franchise to win.
As we saw in the past with the likes of the Chicago Cubs and their 108-year drought, it’s not easy and it could take a long long time to finally win, and you need some luck. Luckily for the remaining winless teams, their droughts have not been so long. Both the Brewers and Padres are looking at the longest ones spanning 54 years.
Out of these five remaining teams, who’s next to dust off the trophy case and add a World Series trophy to it? In the immediate future, there doesn’t seem to be a team that is head above the rest of the pack. With the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners being the best bet.
The Rays have been on the cusp for a few years now but have not been able to end their drought. With an influx of young talent and innovative play style, they have become a mainstay for the playoffs. But the franchise continues to let their fans (yes they have fans) down by not opening their checkbooks and paying their talent or acquiring players in free agency.
The team has also been dealing with a stadium disaster that seems to be coming to an end shortly which could help change their fortune and luck. With one of baseball’s best farm systems and young talent, they are primed for a few more years of being contenders at least. Even while possibly losing its best player to off-field issues in Wander Franco. (Rays World Series Window: 2024-2026)
While the Mariners on the other hand have recently ended a playoff drought that spanned over 20 years and have become newcomers to the contention pool. Again with the influx of great young talent like superstar Julio Rodriguez and George Kirby, the team is opening their World Series window.
The front office has shown recently that it is more willing to dish out money, and going into the offseason many people around baseball expect that to continue to help push them over the edge. But they are still battling in one of baseball’s best divisions with the two reigning World Series champions the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros to contend with.
The Mariners winning window though is here and is now. They cannot be complacent and need to make the aggressive moves that winning teams do. A World Series parade is not too far in the distance for this franchise, something that it has not felt close to since the early 2000s. (Mariners World Series Window: 2024-2027)
Where Do We Fit In?
The Padres currently are hard to pinpoint. The 2022 and 2023 teams had some of baseball’s greatest talent and were a complete letdown and pretty much a disaster. With Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Yu Darvish, and many many more, the team should be competing into late October each year. But that has not been the case.
The team swung big recently and struck out. With the franchise recently letting manager Bob Melvin leave to join a division foe and announcing they recently took out a 50 million dollar loan to help with cash flow issues, the team is confusing.
With an expectation of lowering their salary this offseason and possibly trading away some big pieces, it seems hard to imagine the Padres are the next team to add an elusive World Series banner to the ledger. Yes, the Padres can surprise the league next year if they hold onto some of their big names, but the unpredictability of this franchise makes it hard to trust. (Padres World Series Window: Possibly 2024, 2027-2029)
What About Us?
The last two teams here are the Brewers and Rockies. Yes, the Brewers have been a playoff team a few times recently, but they do not have the roster or farm system to build upon that success and parlay it into a title. The farm system did make a huge jump in 2023, hopefully leaving fans excited. But, the front office seems a bit confused each year on what to do, sell, buy, or stand pat and usually they stand pat. Now with the manager spot vacant, where do they turn?
The franchise is also dealing with a stadium and possible relocation issues as well. The team seems to be heading towards a rebuild because of years of a lack of direction. With major players like Corbin Burnes upset recently over the franchise’s decisions and lack of spending on roster construction, it seems their drought is not soon to end. (Brewers World Series Window: 2027-2030)
This leaves the Rockies, the poor Rockies. They are another team that never seems to have a sense of direction, they buy one second and sell the next. Playing in the high altitude in Colorado also doesn’t help them attract pitching or grow pitching. They also currently sit somewhere in the middle of farm system rankings.
This franchise again is hard to pinpoint exactly what they are thinking or what they want to do, the expectation though seems that they will bring in a few players to help, but are going to rely on trades and growth through their minors to build a team that can win.
That in other words means, no winning a title anytime soon, unfortunately. They will need to stick to the plan, battle some more hard years, and attempt to pull together a winning team down the road. (Rockies World Series Window: 2028-2031)
Baseball is a crazy sport with even crazier storylines and plot twists. We don’t have to look far to see just that. In 2023 the Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks met in the World Series, both teams coming off of 100+ loss seasons just two years ago.
With some young talent, and smart moves by the front office to the roster construction, a team and its trajectory can change and change fast. The race to one of these teams’ elusive World Series trophy, could be around the corner or down the street, but as fans, we will be here to watch it and might be surprised when it happens.