Over at FG, Cameron has a post where he outlines the "objective" weightings of 4 different categories of franchise health.
The four are essentially unchanged from last year, with the apparent added difference that he's going to weight them so that he won't be tempted to put the M's #1 because Jack Z smiled at him at a press conference (no, he didn't actually say this...). The categories are
1. Financial Strength
2. Baseball Ops
3. Present Talent
4. Future Talent
Now, three things:
a) The Rangers stack up pretty good in all of these; probably top 10 in #1, top 5 in #2, top 5 in #3, and top 15 in #4. Given that few other teams have the same balance of these, outside of the Red Sox and Yankees, I don't see how we could see Texas below #4 this year. Philly and Tampa are the two other contenders. I'd predict Boston, NY, Philly, Texas, TB
b) Lest no one get fooled, this is still a completely subjective ranking. Just because you paint a facade of objectivity doesn't change the fact that #2 is one gigantic fudge factor (to quote: "The organizational philosophy and interest level by the executive level will be included" - read "only one team has a Jack Z!!!!") and that farm system rankings are not parametric in the slightest (you could divided KC's farm in two and both would be far and away better than Seattle's decent system, yet I doubt such a scale of dominance will affect KC's future ranking in the mid 20s and Seattles ranking at ....
c) Where does he* place Seattle? As I pointed out, the system is only marginally more objective than last year, albeit with a fun way of placating the more shallow of FG's readership (vote on the relative weights of meaningless categories!) We all know Cameron is stubborn and refuses to admit he was wrong about #6. And in theory these rankings, if designed well, should be stable across at least a few years (given that he weighs the "philosophy" of GMs and the ages of guys like Rowland-Smith). But at the same time, he has to know that Seattle isn't even among the top 6 teams in West divisions, much less all of baseball. So where does he put them?
* Note, I keep saying "he" because FG is Dave Cameron and a bunch of other people who aren't all that important. This is his baby, and you know it.
So here is a poll: Where will he place Seattle? (note: this is not "where does Seattle belong?", it is where they put Seattle. They are completely uncorrelated)