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Ranking MLB's Top 25 Overall Future Trade Assets

Let's pretend for a second that every player in Major League Baseball was placed on the trade block.

Ignoring things like team need and franchise direction, who would be the most valuable trade chips in the game in this hypothetical situation?

That's what we've set out to determine in the following article.

Ahead you'll find the top 25 future trade assets based on that hypothetical situation, but before we dive into that list, a few ground rules:

  • No Prospects: Any player who still has rookie eligibility remaining was not considered for this list, as the focus was meant to be on current MLB talent. That meant no Dansby Swanson or Andrew Benintendi, either, since their rookie standing is still intact.
  • Three Years of Control or More: To further trim the field and because remaining team control is such a huge factor in determining trade value, a player needed to have at least three remaining years of control to be considered for this list. That excluded the vaunted 2018-19 free-agent class, headlined by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
  • Team Control Wasn't Everything: While years of team control was undoubtedly one of the biggest factors in putting together this list, it wasn't everything. Is five years of Chris Archer worth more than three years of Madison Bumgarner? These were the kinds of questions that had to be answered.
  • Position Players vs. Pitchers: The following list contains 16 position players and nine pitchers. Why the lopsided numbers? Because position players are more valuable given their day in and day out contributions, and they're also a safer long-term investment.
  • Big Contracts Were a Detriment: Players like Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Freddie Freeman, Cole Hamels, Clayton Kershaw, Jon Lester, Evan Longoria, Buster Posey, David Price, Kyle SeagerGiancarlo Stanton and Joey Votto don't necessarily have bad contracts, but their steep price tag undoubtedly cuts into their value.

Hopefully, that paints a clear picture of what went into the following rankings. Now let's kick things off with some honorable mentions.

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