Which teams have the most talent locked up? Ranking all 30 MLB cores

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The concept of talent cores and competitive windows has been discussed a lot of late, with the Braves' run of extensions to young players and the Padres selling the farm for Juan Soto and Josh Bell. So I used this as inspiration for a new way to rank talent by teams' cores.

The rules are simple: Only players under control this year, next year, and 2024 can count. If a player has an opt out they are likely to exercise after this year or next, they don't count, such as Xander Bogaerts, Jacob deGrom and Carlos Correa. If they have said they won't leave their current team -- Nolan Arenado, probably with an extended/bigger deal -- I'll include them. Age and salary don't matter, but age is a decent tiebreaker as we are projecting a little over two years in the future, so being close to age 40 isn't great for a multi-year projection.

I broke players into three tiers to make this easier to digest:

  • Elite -- Think five-plus WAR players, or pitchers with that level of impact in a playoff series

  • Above Average -- Think three-to-five WAR players, or regular All-Star types

  • Solid -- Think two-to-three WAR players, or the best role players/setup men