It’s never been a better time to be a Major League Baseball superstar. From social media to the ability to watch any game, any time and in any city, fans have been given a unique privilege of watching the best players in baseball on a daily basis.

Years ago, that simply wasn’t the case. Before the rise of the Internet, cable and incessant day-to-day coverage of every team in every sport, fans were beholden to the players in the cities where they lived. On that same note, players—regardless of market size or off-the-field financial constraints—were forced to adapt to the cities in which they played.

That led to small-market stars feeling for the bright lights of New York and Los Angeles. In 2014, that type of thinking doesn’t exist at nearly the same level. With media and luxury-tax money spread around to every team in the game, star plays aren’t reluctant to re-sign with mid-market clubs.

But that doesn’t mean exposure is the same. Great players can be recognized by Bleacher Report and MLB Network regardless of the cities they play in, but casual fans still put big-market stars on a pedestal because they are easier to access and have swarms of media members covering their every at-bat or inning in the field.

The following five players are stars regardless of the cities in which they play. But if they were performing at a high level in New York, Boston or Los Angeles, true superstar status would follow them on a yearly basis.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference an
d Fangraphsunless otherwise noted. All contract figures courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Roster projections via MLB Depth Charts. Stats valid entering play May 8, 2014. 

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