In an era of quickly rising salaries and multimillion dollar demands from amateur players who are selected high in the draft, it's incredibly difficult to find true value in baseball.
But there's value to be found if you look hard enough.
To be fair, I've excluded players who are still being paid at the minimum levels set by their rookie contracts. So you won't find the likes of Josh Donaldson, Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, Garrett Richards or Kyle Seager on this list.
Additionally, I've held players who signed a one-year deal to avoid arbitration out of the running for a starting spot, though some of those players provided so much value that they needed to be included as honorable mentions.
So, basically, we're looking at players who either signed with a team as a free agent or who signed an extension with their current club.
How did I quantify value?
I could have looked at a player's WAR and compared it (and his contract) to that of his counterparts around the game, but I'm not a fan of WAR. It's hard to put much stock into a statistic that doesn't have a universally accepted formula.
Instead, I examined the contracts of the most productive players at every position and, using nothing more than my own two eyes, determined which player offered his respective team the most bang for the buck. Sometimes, the traditional eye test is the best option available.
Who made the cut? Let's take a look.