Major League Baseball is very much unlike the NFL, which features a salary cap that gives each team an equal chance with regard to payroll. As such, if they manage their payroll properly, just about any NFL team can make offers to the top free agents on the open market and pull off trades for desired players as well.
Baseball doesn’t quite have that luxury. For the top-tier agents on the market this offseason (Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle) there are in reality only about seven or eight teams that have the financial wherewithal to make an attractive offer that will land their intended target.
The same premise works for trades as well. While teams in MLB can in fact be creative in order to acquire a player from another team, they still have financial constraints that prohibit going after pricier targets that can help their franchise.
However, what if fans ran each MLB team? Who would their top trade choices be? Considering they’re using monopoly money, they would obviously want the top players who could possibly be had in a trade. But in reality, that won’t happen.
We will try to keep it real here; obviously not every team can land the best of the best, so with each team’s financial situation in mind, we will list the top trade target for each MLB franchise if fans were running the team.