Imagine, if you will, that you are an agent. Your client, Player X, is a free agent and has drawn offers from each of MLB‘s 30 teams. (Yes, this never happens in real life, but play along.) All of the offers are similar.

How do you advise your client to make the best possible decision?

You prepare a detailed report for him, taking these factors into account:

  • Atmosphere (1-5): How does this team draw at home? Those numbers, courtesy of, and how rabid a fanbase is thought to be (along with the market a team plays in) all contribute to this score.
  • Payroll (1-5): Can this team afford to surround your client with quality teammates? Or will he be the lone shining star on a sinking ship? Payroll information comes courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts (via Baseball Prospectus).
  • 2017 Outlook (1-10): Is this team poised to contend next season?
  • Long-Term Outlook (1-10): What sort of shape is this team’s farm system in? (Rankings via Bleacher Report’s Joel Reuter.) Is there flexibility in the payroll on the horizon?
  • Tiebreaker: If two or more teams graded out the same, the tiebreakers were their scores in long-term outlook, followed by 2017 outlook, payroll and atmosphere.

With those four areas in mind, here is a look at which MLB team is the best free-agent destination this winter.

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