The Cubs divorced themselves from their association with baseball's longest active World Series drought, and now it's the Indians who own that dubious distinction -- a 69-year break between banners.
But what's worse? Perpetually trying to get back to the mountaintop or never having been there at all?
Though we've seen 17 different franchises win a World Series in the past 30 years, there are still eight clubs that have never won it all.
Let's run through their FanGraphs-calculated percentage odds of doing so this year, in order of how likely they are to win it all.
San Diego Padres
WS appearances: 1984, 1998
Chances this year (per FanGraphs): 0.0%
The Padres did the right thing in ripping this thing down to the studs after a regrettable offseason splurge in the lead-up to 2015 went nowhere. This 2017 team might have a largely anonymous roster whose only star is Wil Myers, but I'd argue it will be more interesting to watch than the past two seasons. Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges and Hunter Renfroe are intriguing young position players, there's this fascinating little experiment with Christian Bethancourt trying to become a pitcher and possible further experimentation with the way the Friars deploy their pitching staff.
Established: 1969 (in Milwaukee since 1970)
WS appearance: 1982
Chances this year: 0.0%
If you like stolen bases (the Brewers, boosted by Jonathan Villar's breakout on the basepaths, swiped a Major League-high 181 last season and could rate similarly high with Villar and Keon Broxton atop the lineup), if you like the Ryan Braun trade stock watch and if you like Eric Thames' beard, you'll like the Brew Crew.
Also, this team went a respectable 8-11 against the 103-win Cubs last season, which is kinda like winning the World Series, if you think about it (in a very inaccurate way).
WS appearance: 2007
Chances this year: 0.2%
There's been a distinct buzz associated with the Rox this spring. It's not just your standard Spring Training stuff that comes with a new manager and a happy clubhouse and all that, but actual outside evaluators taking note of the Rockies' collection of, as one scout put it, "interesting young arms," to go with what will be a typically productive offense. The Ian Desmond contract (five years, $70 million) stands as arguably the strangest transaction of the offseason, but if Jon Gray (who has looked strong and sharp in Cactus League play) makes The Leap atop a rotation with other upside from Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Tyler Anderson, German Marquez and Jeff Hoffman, perhaps this club could make some waves. It should also be noted that the Rockies have a strong enough farm season to augment the Major League unit this summer.
Established: 1961 (in Texas since 1972)
WS appearances: 2010, 2011
Chances this year: 1.0%
We did not yet have Statcast™ and the Catch Probability metric in October 2011, when Nelson Cruz either misplayed or was simply poorly positioned for David Freese's Game 6-altering triple. But we can safely say that the Rangers' World Series championship probability dropped drastically as the ball sailed over Cruz's outstretched glove and, five completed seasons later, here we are, still waiting for the Rangers to get back to the Fall Classic.
Consecutive division titles have brought Texas consecutive American League Division Series exits at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, and the various projection models don't love their chances of three-peating in the AL West. The primary knock on the Rangers is that they outscored their opponents by just eight runs last season and went an unsustainable 36-11 in one-run games.
Of course, some of that uninspiring run differential is tied to a bullpen that just wasn't very good at the start of '16 and eventually got better. If the Rangers' improved 'pen formula carries into a new season, if a full year of Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez in the lineup proves a positive, if Shin-Soo Choo stays healthy and Yu Darvish, now two years removed from Tommy John, is good for 200 innings in his free-agent walk year, well, we've got something to work with here. The Rangers' rotation depth is likely to be tested given the number of injury questions associated with that group, and who knows if Mike Napoli can sustain his '16 stat line or if Joey Gallo impacts things.
But this is likely a winning team with a strong enough prospect stash to make a midseason move, if need be. So one percent feels low to me.
Tampa Bay Rays
WS appearance: 2008
Chances this year: 1.3%
Computer models always seem to give the Rays more love than the average baseball fan does. Right now, FanGraphs has them finishing 80-82, which would be a 12-win improvement on last year's record despite trading one of their best players (Logan Forsythe) over the winter. I wrote recently about why I think the Rays are an underrated group going into 2017. It's quite possible they've more than offset the loss of Forsythe's production with the additions of Colby Rasmus and (eventually) Wilson Ramos, and they added more depth and upside to an already young and upside-heavy rotation by landing Jose De Leon in the Forsythe deal. You might not have noticed the Rays ranked sixth in the Majors in home runs (216) last year. The problem was that 136 of those were solo shots.
"If we have that kind of power again," said vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom, "then I would expect events to sequence in a way that we score more than last year."
They're no World Series favorite, but the Rays could be more competitive in the AL East than people give them credit for.
WS appearances: None
Chances this year: 1.5%
Seattle has the game's longest postseason drought, having not advanced since 2001, and that combines with the ages of Robinson Cano (34) and Nelson Cruz (36) and the career innings load taken on by Felix Hernandez (2,415 2/3) to make this a win-now proposition. General manager Jerry Dipoto is convinced this club will be more athletic, more defensively dependable and just overall deeper than last year, when the Mariners made a 10-win improvement on 2015 but still fell three games shy of an AL Wild Card spot. The biggest questions come in the rotation, which is now absent Taijuan Walker's upside and will instead hope that Yovani Gallardo has something left in the tank and that Drew Smyly benefits from the move from the AL East to Safeco Field. The biggest point of curiosity is whether King Felix's improved lower-half strength and change in pitch selection will allow him to shake off the mileage and recapture his old statistical standards after two down years.
The Mariners might be a World Series longshot, but even getting Hernandez to a postseason appearance would be a major organizational victory.
The M's are also one of two franchises to have never even appeared in a World Series, joining the…
Established: 1969 (2005 in D.C.)
WS appearances: None
Chances this year: 9.6%
Unfortunately, the Washington Senators' 1924 title doesn't apply here. The Twins get credit for that one. The Nationals' drought goes back to their Expos heritage.
Forget the World Series. The Nats have not yet been able to win a postseason series, despite division titles in 2012, '14 and '16, and that subject is sure to come up if they do as intended and win the NL East again this year.
But the good news is that their chances of doing just that are very strong (71.3%, per FanGraphs), despite the hand-wringing going on about their closer spot and their rotation depth after the Adam Eaton trade. This should be one of the NL's best offenses, especially if Bryce Harper's added upper-body bulk proves to be a positive in his bid for a bounce-back year, if the Daniel Murphy superhero story continues and if Eaton and young Trea Turner are as dynamic a top-of-the-order tandem as they project to be. A spring concern is Max Scherzer having to change his fastball grip because of a knuckle injury, and at this point it's fair to be on pins and needles every time Stephen Strasburg takes the mound. And no, we don't exactly know what's up in the ninth, though the Nats do have a lot of weapons to consider there.
All in all, this is a team certainly strong enough to get back to October and try once again to get over that Division Series hump, first and foremost. If they reach the World Series, it would mark the first time that event is held in our nation's capital since 1933, FDR's first year in office (and Bartolo Colon's rookie year).
WS appearance: 2005
Chances this year: 10.5%
A 10.5-percent chance might not sound especially strong, but it is. The Cubs and Indians are given the highest percentage chances, at 17.0 and 15.4, respectively. The Astros are the team everybody seems to think will win the AL West, and FanGraphs' model obviously feels frisky about their chances of advancing in October.
Sports Illustrated said the Astros will win it all in 2017… in 2014. And when has an SI cover ever been wrong?
The optimism comes despite glaring questions in a rotation that last season fell apart. For pitchers, especially, there is no better predictor of future injury than past injury, and the Astros' best two starters -- Dallas Keuchel (shoulder) and Lance McCullers (elbow and shoulder) -- both had significant issues last season. The Astros believe they'll both be ready for the start of the season, though probably not at 100 percent. Houston added Charlie Morton to their stash and feel they have quality depth and possibly upside (especially via top pitching prospect Frances Martes), but attempts to significantly upgrade the rotation (THIS IS A REFERENCE TO JOSE QUINTANA) have not bore fruit.
Not yet, at least.
Anyway, the Astros should score plenty of runs, with better balance provided by the left-handed-hitting Brian McCann and Josh Reddick and the switch-hitting Carlos Beltran to a lineup that already included Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Alex Bregman. And they've got the trade chips to figure out the rest and get to the Promised Land. Just don't give up any grand slams to Paul Konerko.
Anthony Castrovince is a Sports on Earth contributor, MLB.com columnist and MLB Network contributor. Follow him on Twitter @Castrovince.