The Tampa Bay Rays changed everything in 2008. They won the AL East and went to the playoffs for the first time in their history that season, and they did it because they built a winning team by drafting and developing star players. They are the exact opposite of the Yankees and Red Sox, and they've been going toe to toe with them ever since.
For the last couple years, the Toronto Blue Jays have been giving the Rays approach a shot. General manager Alex Anthopoulos has put together one of baseball's strongest farm systems, and the Jays' current big league roster is a solid foundation for Anthopoulos to build on. It's a project that is going quite well.