Which teams should be next winter's big spenders?

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When it comes to the bottom-line total of wins and losses, rebuilding can be a difficult time for fans, even with the knowledge that it's part of a long-term plan for future success. The Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs have their forever-flags, but Houston did see attendance drop from 3.1 million in 2004 to 1.6 million in 2012 while even the attendance of the Wrigley Faithful has had its ups and downs, dropping below three million in 2012-2015. But coming out of that rebuild? That's an exciting time for a team and for fans, the team shifting toward prioritizing current wins rather than future ones.

By the ZiPS projections -- and I agree with the computer on this one -- two franchises stand at or near the brink of completing their rebuilds. Just as no analyst is perfect, no rebuilding team does a perfect job, but these teams have gotten themselves near relevance without making major blunders that derailed their long-term plans.