Establishing Future Value for MLB's Top 25 Free Agent, Trade Targets

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Establishing Future Value for MLB's Top 25 Free Agent, Trade Targets
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

For Major League Baseball general managers, winter is a time to be in roster-construction mode. That involves trying to see the future.

Since that can't actually be done, it basically involves making educated guesses as to what the future holds for players.

That also happens to be the name of our little game here.

A few weeks back, I embarked on a little project called the "MLB 500." The idea was to round up the top players at each position, analyzing them according to how their skills projected toward 2014.

What we're going to do now is look a little further into the future—say, three to five years down the line instead of just one. The question that needs answering is: What are the top players on both the free-agent and trade markets going to be like in the long run?

Following is a list of 25 players, with 15 free agents and 10 trade candidates. Let's go ahead and ponder their futures by using the same criteria that was used in the MLB 500.

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