Imagine, if you will, that the year is 2021.

Suspected performance-enhancing-drug cheats still haven’t gained entry into the Hall of Fame, but the Tampa Bay Rays have relocated to Montreal, the Oakland A’s now call San Antonio home and Bartolo Colon, at the age of 47, is still pitching.

While Colon’s awesomeness is transcendent and immune to the effects of time, the same can’t be said for the rest of Major League Baseball. In 2021, what would the best team we could build look like? Are today’s top stars still worthy of a spot? Or would they be replaced by younger, lesser-known talent?

This is the futuristic query we find ourselves trying to answer while sticking to these guidelines:

  • Only players who will be on Opening Day rosters in 2016 or who have already made their big league debuts are eligible for consideration. That means we can’t choose top prospects like Lucas Giolito, Aaron Judge, Yoan Moncada or Julio Urias.
  • Salaries are irrelevant, as our squad’s owners have deeper pockets than the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees combined. Talent is the only thing that matters.

So step into our TARDIS as we travel into the not-too-distant future and comprise a 14-player squad, made up of eight position players, five starting pitchers and a closer.

The picture above serves as a spoiler for one of those 14 spots. Can you correctly guess the rest of our roster before clicking ahead?


Unless otherwise noted, all ages referenced are as of Opening Day 2021.

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