The MLB offseason has begun, and this year's free-agent class is already mulling over potential suitors in an effort to find the best fit to call home in 2014 and beyond.
A number of different factors go into determining how attractive each team is to free agents, from the city and its fans to the short- and long-term outlook of the team. What follows is a ranking of all 30 MLB teams to decide which team is the best free-agent destination.
Now, no free agent is of interest to all 30 teams, and every team can't offer up the same amount of money to each player. However, for the sake of this article, we are assuming that Player X has received the same offer from all 30 teams and has to decide which is the best based on the following factors:
Fanbase (1-5): Looking at recent attendance numbers, and simply the reputation of each fanbase, each team received a 1-5 score for its fans.
Payroll Situation (1-5): Deciding where to sign is not always about how much money a team can give you. It's also about how much more money the team has to work with when it comes to building a legitimate contender. Each team received a 1-5 score based on its current and future payroll outlook.
2014 Outlook (1-10): Looking strictly at the 2014 season, each team got a score from 1-10 on its chances of winning this coming season.
Long-Term Outlook (1-10): Looking ahead at each team's farm system, core of big league talent and future payroll freedom, each team received a score from 1-10 on its long-term chances of success.
With those four areas in mind, here is a look at which MLB team is the best free-agent destination. In case of a tie, the teams were ranked subjectively with a brief explanation of why they trump teams with the same score.
*Note: All payroll information courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.