Now that the confetti has settled on the St. Louis Cardinals victory parade and fans of the other 29 teams have begun to recover from their disappointment, hope begins anew as free agency has begun, giving every team the opportunity to build for the future.
Though at this point each team has a 0-0 record in the 2012 season, all teams are not created equal in free agency. Some teams have the luxury of working with payrolls topping $100 million, while other teams must make do with far less. Yet even teams with comparatively small payrolls can create opportunities in free agency by being disciplined with their budgets, giving them the opportunity to spend their money on a player they believe to be critical to their success.
Because of the lack of a salary cap, Major League Baseball budgets are difficult to predict, especially with teams who have seemingly unlimited resources to go after the best and most expensive players year after year. Yet based on previous year's budgets and public statements by front offices, estimates of each team's payroll can be made.
With the invaluable help of Cot's Baseball Contracts, what follows is a ranking of how much each team will likely have to spend on the free agent market.