For the third straight year, we have created a year-end team portfolio ranking for Major League Baseball. The exercise is to evaluate every team as if they were a portfolio of assets to determine which is most valuable. 

The only considerations are talent, age, contract situations and farm system with the goal being to eventually compete for and win the World Series. An older team already contending is more valued than a younger team with a ton of talent that may not get there, but the younger team with upside is a better bet than an older team that’s currently better but without the upside. 

There is no consideration given to the team location, history, manager, general manager or owner.

The MLB has an ever-changing landscape but this creation of a hierarchical ranking gives a look to how we would choose their collective situations at the end of 2016. Last year's rankings are in parenthesis, which you can read here and 2015 here.

- Also see RealGM's Year-End Team Portfolio Rankings for the NBANFL and Soccer

30. Miami Marlins (23): Normally, the separation between the various troubled teams (who are likely in the early stages of a rebuild) is usually pretty inconsequential, and it's hard to not feel like you're being a bit cruel to the team's fan base when you put them in the final spot. Not this year, though, as the new Bruce Sherman/Derek Jeter-led ownership group seem to have a monopoly on fan base-related cruelty. They've gotten rid of most of their best players in Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon (and Christian Yelich is purportedly on the block). To make matters worse, they didn't even receive a top-100 prospect in return and are pretty much solely interested in salary relief. It's not clear when, if ever, the current owners will start to care about the product they put on the field, but it's going to be painful to be a Marlins fan for the foreseeable future. – JW

29. Kansas City Royals (21): Two years ago, the Royals were at the top of the baseball world. Since then, they’ve missed the playoffs twice and now face an offseason that will decide the course of the franchise for the next half-decade. The farm system, which produced a big chunk of the title-winning lineup, is among the worst in baseball. Dayton Moore could have been proactive by trading Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and others at the deadline, but he instead held out hope for a late run to the playoffs. They missed out on a Wild Card berth by five games and now face a potential 100-loss season should they lose all of their free agents and have no help on the horizon. – AP

28. San Diego Padres (30): The team who took home last place last offseason is slowly creeping their way back up the totem pole. While they don't have any consensus top-overall prospects, they are tied with the Brewers for the largest number of prospects in's Top 100 list, with seven. There's obviously a lot that the Padres need to go right for them if they're going to claw their way back into relevancy after the ill-fated experiment that was Prellerpalooza. But if some of the players they've already graduated (Manuel Margot and Dinelson Lamet, in particular) continue to develop and they can hit on a few of the prospects they've stocked, we could see the Padres' situation change a bit by next year. – JW

27. Cincinnati Reds (27): The Reds were surprisingly relevant in their division for the first couple of months last season, thanks to an offense that performed much better than anyone expected. They've already lost Zack Cozart to free agency but that's hardly their biggest problem. Right now, Cincinnati has very little in the way of pitching and the 3.6 fWAR they got from their starters and relievers last season was the worst mark in baseball. Their best pitching prospect, Hunter Greene, is still years away from the majors and, while there are at least a couple of pitchers who could break out (especially Luis Castillo), it's hard to see the Reds being competitive in the NL Central with the Cubs' current window still wide-open, the Brewers appearing to be opening and the Cardinals' remaining open in perpetuity. – JW

26. Atlanta Braves (19): The Braves' farm system took a serious hit this offseason when they were stripped of 12 international prospects as punishment for violating international signing rules. The bright side is that they still have one of the deepest prospect piles in all of MLB, arguably the best farm system in MLB (with only the next team on the list giving them legitimate competition). Like the other teams that are in the middle of a rebuild, they're missing some pieces and they are certainly in need of some more pitching. They already have some excellent players around for years (see: Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte), however, and they just need some pieces to fall into place. You don't have to squint very hard to see how the Braves could turn things around fairly quickly, even if they aren't there yet. – JW 

25. Chicago White Sox (24): How things shake out for the White Sox will depend almost exclusively on player development. They had one of, if not the, worst pitching staff in the game last season and the offense was nothing to write home about. Jose Abreu is their best player -- it may not even be close -- and you can expect to see his name in trade rumors on a monthly basis. They have five of the top 50 prospects in baseball (Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech, Luis Robert and Reynaldo Lopez), but there isn’t much talent at the Major League level to make things consumable while the youngest of those prospects get their seasoning. – AP 

24. Baltimore Orioles (18): The five-year outlook for the Orioles can best be described by a Led Zeppelin song: 

Yes, there are two paths you can go by

But in the long run

There’s still time to change the road you’re on 

Do you trade Manny Machado before Opening Day to get maximum value for the third baseman, who is headed for free agency next winter and almost certainly a $200 million payday? That makes sense in today’s climate and with both the Yankees and Red Sox looking strong in the division, but willingly subtracting a transcendent talent from your roster is still a bitter pill to swallow. - AP 

23. Detroit Tigers (15): The Tigers put themselves on a longer path to title contention when they repeatedly put faith in an aging core. Miguel Cabrera and his cumbersome contract remain, but Al Avila finally began tearing things down when he dealt his son, Alex, and the three Justins (Verlander, Upton and Wilson) this past summer. Those deals removed Detroit’s farm system from the basement, but there is more work to be done. – AP

22. Oakland Athletics (25): Only two AL clubs had fewer wins than the Athletics in 2017, but they turned Sonny Gray, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson into a host of prospects that help provide a more promising outlook going forward. You may not like it, but Oakland will care little about on-field success over the next two years with the focus on acquiring and developing young talent to make a playoff push in 2020 or 2021, predictive Sports Illustrated cover or not. – AP

21. Philadelphia Phillies (16): The Phillies may have lost 96 games last year, but there were still plenty of signs of encouragement in that quite a few of their young players (Aaron Nola, Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera, Rhys Hoskins) put up solid seasons. Solid enough for the Philadelphia to sign Carlos Santana to a three-year deal this offseason. Even if that move isn't going to move the needle for them right now, it should serve as a reminder that Philadelphia is a slumbering large-market behemoth that will devour free agents freely when it awakens. Oh, and they still have one of the best farms in the land. It's too early to move them any further up the list, but do not turn your back on them next hot stove season. – JW 

20. Pittsburgh Pirates (8): This past season was a rough one for fans of the Bucs, what with Starling Marte's PED suspension and step back at the plate and the continued descent in the standings to 4th place in the division. Andrew McCutchen may have rebounded somewhat from his terrible 2016, but the rumors surrounding his being traded continue to grow. Their farm system has dropped a bit in the rankings, but they did graduate top prospects Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell. Ultimately, the Pirates, like the Reds before them, likely face a tough road ahead due to the division they play in, and it's hard to push them too far up the rankings at this juncture. – JW

19. Texas Rangers (12): The Rangers have holes in a number of places, which will make it hard for them to compete for a title in the next few years. They made some strides, however, when they dealt Yu Darvish to the Dodgers this past summer. The deal helped build up a depleted system and Willie Calhoun could make the Opening Day roster. – AP 

18. Minnesota Twins (29): Actions speak louder than words and the Twins have made it clear this offseason that they hope to make the playoffs an annual event. They’ve been linked to a number of stars through either trade or free agency and their farm system, while middling, could be ready to contribute in Minnesota this coming year. The offense was great and figures to become more dangerous and reliable if Miguel Sano (24), Eddie Rosario (25), Byron Buxton (23) and Max Kepler (24) improve. A lot of their pitching woes would be solved if Jose Berrios put together a full season of effectiveness. – AP

17. Toronto Blue Jays (14): For the first time, in what seems like forever, the Blue Jays have a below average offense. A healthy Josh Donaldson and the removal of Jose Bautista (.203/.308/.366) from the lineup will help Toronto rebound from an 88 OPS+. Marcus Stroman is a top-level starter, but there is little else that excites you about the pitching staff. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are both highly touted, but have a long road to the Majors. Ryan Borucki, 24, may be their best hope for a young addition on the mound in the near future. Overall, the organization’s lower-level depth is better than it has been recently. – AP 

16. New York Mets (11): The Mets were one of the bigger disappointments in baseball this last season, losing 92 games and selling off players prior to the deadline. Fortunately, they retained their best players and still have a rotation that, with the help of some health, could be one of the best in the game. It's not hard to see them bouncing back for a Wild Card spot or even challenging the Nationals with a little luck, but they definitely have some holes. If the Mets were willing to spend the kind of money that a New York team should probably be spending, they'd probably move a bit higher up the list. As it is, it's hard to see a deep postseason run happening with the team as currently constructed. – JW

15. Seattle Mariners (9): An offense with the talent of Seattle’s should have been more productive than they were in 2017. Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz will combine to make nearly $40 million next season and given their age, the time is now for the offense to fire on all cylinders. Jerry Dipoto likes to trade away young prospects, which has left the cupboard a little barren. The pitching staff was among baseball’s youngest last year, which may mean some steps forward in the coming years.  – AP 

14. Milwaukee Brewers (26): The Brewers surprised everyone by spending all but the last month of the season either in first place in the division or within a few games of it. The deals that the Brewers made in 2017 as they contended were smart, as they were low-cost and didn't give up much. By not mortgaging any of their future during a rather surprising contending season, they still have one of the best farms in baseball and a number of young post-breakout players--Jimmy Nelson (assuming he bounces back from his injury), Travis Shaw and Domingo Santana--who look like they might comprise the core of a young core supplemented by new additions from that deep farm. – JW 

13. Colorado Rockies (20): Like the Brewers, the Rockies made a bit of a splash last year and made it to the Wild Card game, thanks largely to one of the best pitching staffs in the National League. The fact that their mostly young rotation was so successful bodes well, even if they had a down year offensively. There's reason to believe that they can build on the outstanding year they (finally) had in the pitching department and, if they can catch a few offensive breaks, they could likely make a deeper run in the coming season. – JW 

12. San Francisco Giants (13): Full disclosure: This ranking was done before the Giants traded away their top prospect and a couple of lottery tickets for Evan Longoria, and that really got me thinking that we've got them too high. The Giants were one of the worst teams in baseball last year, but it's extremely unlikely that everyone on the Giants will underperform as woefully as they did this year. They have a few holes they need to fill in the current roster (one less after the Longoria trade) and now a farm that is one of the worst in baseball and we're likely to see their window closing soon, even if we're not there yet. It's quite likely that we could see the Giants take another crack at the postseason with their current core (as a Wild Card, thanks to the existence of the Dodgers), but it's pretty likely that we're about to see the Giants slide down the list in the coming years. – JW

11. Tampa Bay Rays (17): The outlook for the Rays depends on whether or not they decide to move Chris Archer before Opening Day. Doing so would add to an already stellar farm system, which could send Brent Honeywell (RHP) and Willy Adames (SS) to the Majors this coming season. The organization is run in such a way that they’ll rarely rank low on evaluations such as these. They always have young talent and simply wait for the pieces to come together simultaneously to become aggressive at the big league level. – AP

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (28): On my own personal list when putting together the rankings last season, I had the Diamondbacks at 22, and somehow that still failed to give them the credit for the season they put together in 2017. Largely to thank for that was the Diamondbacks' rotation, which was one of the best in baseball and featured great to solid seasons from younger pitchers with years of control in Zack Godley, Robbie Ray and Taijuan Walker to pair with Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin. The Diamondbacks look to be in a good position to take another crack at the Wild Card this coming season and they might even have enough pitching to make trades to upgrade other areas of the roster. – JW

9. Los Angeles Angels (22): The Angels lack an elite prospect and at least one major outlet ranked the farm system dead last overall following the World Series, but the potential one-two star punch of Mike Trout and Shohei Otani can make up for those shortcomings. The offense and pitching both ranked in the bottom half of baseball last season, which made their .500 finish an odd one. The addition of Otani indicates L.A. has no plans to deal Trout to start a full-on rebuild, which has varying short and long-term implications. – AP 

8. St. Louis Cardinals (10): As always, the Cardinals never seem to drop out of the top-ten. As always, they have a top-ten farm system. As always, they continue to convert those prospects into actual major league players. They don't really need much in the way of outside help, but they certainly seemed to have fleeced the Marlins when they took Marcell Ozuna off Miami's hands. They never go all-in, but they also never have to hit the reset button, so they stay, as always, in the upper echelons of teams that might go all the way. -JW

7. Boston Red Sox (2): Not many teams can remain aggressive and in contention after handing out a contract like the monstrosity the Red Sox gave David Price two years ago. They’ve been able to tread water thanks to the brilliance of Chris Sale and a revived Drew Pomeranz. The farm system is no longer loaded, but that’s largely due to the success of youngsters at the Major League level. The offense is a concern, but those holes could be filled by the maturation of guys like Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi going forward. – AP 

6. Washington Nationals (4): Barring an extremely unlikely extension, this is the Nationals' final year with Bryce Harper on their roster. Consider that they won their division by 20 games, and you can see that they're not going to just drift off into the ether without him, though. When Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg's contracts start to look a little more onerous in a few years, we may have to revisit the Nationals' position on this list. For the time being, however, they're certainly the most complete team in the NL East and look to keep getting a crack at figuring out the postseason every year. – JW 

5. Chicago Cubs (3): The Cubs slip a little bit down the rankings in this iteration simply because of a little bit of regression and the fact they've completely emptied the farm over the last couple of years. They already broke the curse, so there are certainly no hard feelings, I'm sure. But they don't have much to work with in terms of obtaining upgrades in the immediate future should the need arise. That being said, they still have an enviable young core of players that many teams would trade the whole farm for, and that should certainly keep them high up these rankings for years to come. – JW 

4. Cleveland Indians (5): The Indians will miss Carlos Santana and Jay Bruce and can’t count on Michael Brantley, but the heart of the order is solid -- Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez -- and the pitching staff remains dominant. Cleveland led baseball with a 3.33 FIP and the bullpen remains solid despite losing Bryan Shaw. The farm system ranks in the bottom half, but the window of contention remains firmly open. – AP 

3. New York Yankees (7): In the age of The Process, Brian Cashman has smartly accelerated New York’s pseudo-rebuild. Less than two months after finishing a surprisingly successful season with an appearance in the ALCS, the Yankees became the hated once again when they acquired Giancarlo Stanton. They aren’t, however, all muscle. They are light on pitching, but Luis Severino may be a perennial Cy Young candidate and they still have an elite farm system with pieces that can be used to bolster the rotation. – AP

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (1): The Dodgers are still the cream of the crop in the National League, even if we're bumping them out of their first-overall spot. They were only one game away from winning the World Series and, with the exception of Brandon Morrow, almost all of their most important players will be returning for another try next season. The front office has been laying relatively low this offseason, but the Dodgers don't really need to do anything to remain favorites to win their division. The biggest move they've made has been to move expensive players around to and reset their luxury tax penalties, likely so that they can shop freely during next offseason's quite-impressive free agent class. They already have one of the best rosters in baseball, with a top-ten farm system and the ability to spend, which is a truly scary combination for the foreseeable future. – JW

1. Houston Astros (6): We expected the Royals to remain at the top longer than they did, but it should have been obvious that they’d come back down to earth. The Astros have far more staying power. They didn’t have just the best OPS+ in baseball this past season (127) -- the 22-point gap between Houston and No. 2 on the list was the same as No. 2 and the San Francisco Giants, who ranked dead last. In addition to Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer, the Astros have a resurgent Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers, Dallas Keuchel and arms waiting in the wings. – AP