MLB Power Rankings: How 2016 Winter Meetings Changed Balance of Power

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2016

MLB Power Rankings: How 2016 Winter Meetings Changed Balance of Power

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    Duane Burleson/Getty Images

    The winter meetings always provide a good deal of excitement around the MLB community, and this year has been no different, with several major transactions occurring.

    This will be the first time we've updated our power rankings since the conclusion of the regular season, so here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • Offseason rankings are not meant to be a prediction for the year ahead. Instead, they are a look at how teams would stack up with the rosters they have if the season started today.
    • These rankings will be updated several more times between now and the start of the 2017 campaign, so if your favorite club is lower than you'd like, there's still time.
    • A perfect example of this is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have a number of holes to fill and rank low as a result. They'll climb as the offseason progresses and they fill said holes.

    Included for each team is a look at notable offseason additions, a breakdown of the club's offseason activities, remaining needs and a preliminary 25-man roster.

                      

    Note: Players listed in bold on projected rosters indicate newcomers. Players listed in italics among notable additions indicate they are not on the 40-man roster. An (R) next to a player indicates that his rookie status is intact.

30. San Diego Padres

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    C Austin Hedges
    C Austin HedgesAndy Hayt/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    RP Miguel Diaz (Rule 5), C Luis Torrens (Rule 5), IF Allen Cordoba (Rule 5)

                   

    Offseason Overview

    The biggest news out of San Diego Padres camp this offseason was the decision to non-tender Tyson Ross—the team's Opening Day starter last season and a hot commodity on the trade block not long ago.

    In 2014 and 2015, Ross went a combined 23-26 with a 3.03 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 407 strikeouts in 391.2 innings, earning a spot on the National League All-Star team in '14.

    The 29-year-old made just one start this past season, though, before a shoulder injury that eventually forced him to undergo thoracic outlet surgery.

    His departure leaves the club with an unproven starting rotation. Former Rule 5 pick Luis Perdomo and 2016 scrapheap signing Christian Friedrich front the unit, so expect at least a few low-cost additions to the staff.

    Meanwhile, San Diego shipped catcher Derek Norris to the Washington Nationals to clear a path for Austin Hedges, and the Padres could also look to deal from their abundance of middle-infield talent, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

                       

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Travis JankowskiLHP Christian Friedrich
    CF Manuel Margot (R)RHP Luis Perdomo
    1B Wil MyersRHP Paul Clemens
    3B Yangervis SolarteRHP Jarred Cosart
    RF Hunter Renfroe (R)RHP Dinelson Lamet (R)
    2B Ryan SchimpfBullpen
    C Austin HedgesRHP Miguel Diaz (R)
    SS Luis SardinasLHP Keith Hessler
    BenchRHP Phil Maton (R)
    C Luis Torrens (R)RHP Kevin Quackenbush
    C/OF Christian BethancourtLHP Ryan Buchter
    1B/OF Alex DickersonLHP Brad Hand
    IF Cory SpangenbergRHP Brandon Maurer
    OF Jabari Blash 

29. Minnesota Twins

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    2B Brian Dozier
    2B Brian DozierDuane Burleson/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Arrivals

    C Jason Castro, RP Justin Haley (Rule 5), 1B Ben Paulsen

                   

    Offseason Overview

    The Minnesota Twins have already filled their most glaring roster hole, signing pitch-framing extraordinaire Jason Castro to a three-year, $24.5 million deal to replace Kurt Suzuki.

    What will they do the rest of the winter?

    While the front office has given no indication it'll sell, after a 103-loss season, it's not out of the question to think the team could shop veteran pieces.

    "The Twins, though, continue to listen in on [Brian] Dozier and have other trade pieces such as right-hander Ervin Santana, reliever Brandon Kintzler and first baseman Kennys Vargas. But nothing is imminent," wrote Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.

    Either way, it looks like it will be at least a couple of years before the Twinkies are relevant in the American League Central again.

                    

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Brian DozierRHP Ervin Santana
    SS Jorge PolancoRHP Kyle Gibson
    1B Joe MauerLHP Hector Santiago
    3B Miguel SanoRHP Phil Hughes
    RF Max KeplerRHP Jose Berrios
    DH Kennys VargasBullpen
    C Jason CastroRHP Justin Haley (R)
    LF Eddie RosarioLHP Ryan O'Rourke
    CF Byron BuxtonRHP Michael Tonkin
    BenchLHP Taylor Rogers
    C John Ryan MurphyRHP Ryan Pressly
    IF Eduardo EscobarRHP Trevor May
    IF/OF Danny SantanaRHP Brandon Kintzler
    OF Robbie Grossman 

28. Oakland Athletics

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    SP Sonny Gray
    SP Sonny GraySean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    OF Matt JoyceOF Jaff Decker, C Ryan Lavarnway, 1B/OF Chris Parmelee

                      

    Offseason Overview

    Predicting what Billy Beane and Co. will do to shake up the Oakland Athletics roster during any given offseason is next to impossible.

    That said, addressing the glaring hole in center field would appear to be the No. 1 priority. As it stands, a platoon of Brett Eibner and Jake Smolinski appears to be the best in-house option.

    As for what they've done, signing outfielder Matt Joyce to a two-year, $11 million deal ranks as the only significant move. That's a nice raise for the veteran after he settled for a minor league deal and an invite to spring training from the Pittsburgh Pirates last winter.

    With a career .185/.265/.310 slash line against left-handed pitching, Joyce is strictly a platoon player, and he thrived in that role in Pittsburgh with an .866 OPS and 13 home runs in 293 plate appearances.

    The rumor mill will spit out Sonny Gray's name at least a few more times this offseason, but expect him to stay put after hurting his stock with a poor 2016 campaign.

                  

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Joey Wendle (R) RHP Sonny Gray
    C Stephen Vogt RHP Kendall Graveman
    3B Ryon Healy LHP Sean Manaea
    LF Khris Davis RHP Jharel Cotton (R)
    RF Matt Joyce RHP Frankie Montas (R)
    SS Marcus Semien Bullpen
    1B Yonder Alonso RHP Andrew Triggs
    DH Jed Lowrie LHP Daniel Coulombe
    CF Brett Eibner RHP Liam Hendriks
    Bench RHP John Axford
    C Bruce Maxwell RHP Ryan Dull
    1B/OF Mark Canha RHP Ryan Madson
    IF Chad Pinder (R) LHP Sean Doolittle
    OF Jake Smolinski  

27. Milwaukee Brewers

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    LF Ryan Braun
    LF Ryan BraunDylan Buell/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    1B Eric Thames, 3B Travis Shaw, RP Blake Parker, RP Steve Geltz

                          

    Offseason Overview

    The Milwaukee Brewers moved one of their most valuable remaining trade chips during the winter meetings, sending standout setup man Tyler Thornburg and his three remaining years of team control to the Boston Red Sox.

    That landed them a new third baseman in Travis Shaw and a pair of solid prospects in a move that also cemented Jonathan Villar as the starting second baseman and pushed Scooter Gennett to the bench.

    Eric Thames returns to the states after three huge seasons in Korea. The KBO MVP in 2015, Thames posted a 1.101 OPS with 40 home runs and 118 RBI this past season and represents an intriguing lottery ticket on a three-year, $16 million deal.

    Trading Ryan Braun is still a possibility if the club can find the right return package, but one of the top priorities this spring will be sorting out a starting rotation that figures to have as many as 10 viable options fighting for spots.

                        

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Jonathan Villar RHP Junior Guerra
    CF Keon Broxton RHP Jimmy Nelson
    LF Ryan Braun RHP Matt Garza
    1B Eric Thames RHP Zach Davies
    3B Travis Shaw RHP Chase Anderson
    RF Domingo SantanaBullpen
    SS Orlando Arcia RHP Wily Peralta
    C Andrew Susac RHP Rob Scahill
    Bench RHP Michael Blazek
    C Martin Maldonado RHP Jacob Barnes
    IF Scooter Gennett RHP Jhan Martinez
    IF Yadiel Rivera RHP Carlos Torres
    IF/OF Hernan Perez RHP Corey Knebel
    OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis  

26. Chicago White Sox

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    SP Jose Quintana
    SP Jose QuintanaJon Durr/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    3B Yoan Moncada, RHP Lucas Giolito, RHP Reynaldo Lopez, OF Rymer Liriano, RP Giovanni Soto, RP Dylan Covey (Rule 5), RHP Michael Kopech, RHP Dane Dunning, OF Luis Alexander Basabe

                  

    Offseason Overview

    The rebuild has officially begun, folks.

    In a span of roughly 30 hours, the Chicago White Sox shipped out ace Chris Sale and standout right fielder Adam Eaton, bringing back a bevy of prospects.

    Infielder Yoan Moncada (No. 1 MLB prospect, per MLB.com), right-hander Lucas Giolito (No. 3), right-hander Michael Kopech (No. 30) and right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (No. 38) all rank as top-50 prospects in the league and now occupy the top four spots in the White Sox system.

    They're not finished, either.

    Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier and David Robertson all look like obvious trade candidates who could bring more high-end prospects, and guys like Jose Abreu and Nate Jones could also fetch hefty returns, depending on how aggressive the front office gets.

    The next couple of seasons could be ugly at the MLB level, but the White Sox finally have a clear direction, and they're one of the big winners of this year's winter meetings.

                           

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Tim AndersonLHP Jose Quintana
    2B Brett LawrieRHP James Shields
    LF Melky CabreraLHP Carlos Rodon
    1B Jose AbreuRHP Miguel Gonzalez
    3B Todd FrazierRHP Reynaldo Lopez (R)
    RF Avisail GarciaBullpen
    DH Matt DavidsonRHP Dylan Covey (R)
    CF Charlie Tilson (R)LHP Matt Purke
    C Omar Narvaez (R)RHP Jake Petricka
    BenchRHP Zach Putnam
    C Kevan Smith (R)LHP Dan Jennings
    IF Carlos SanchezRHP Nate Jones
    IF/OF Leury GarciaRHP David Robertson
    IF/OF Tyler Saladino 

25. Cincinnati Reds

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    IF/OF Jose Peraza
    IF/OF Jose PerazaJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    IF/OF Arismendy Alcantara, C Juan Graterol

                

    Offseason Overview

    The Cincinnati Reds' middle infield could have a different look by the time Opening Day rolls around, as the team is working to move second baseman Brandon Phillips and shortstop Zack Cozart, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

    Trading both would open the door for Dilson Herrera and Jose Peraza to take over as the new middle-infield tandem, and both players have chances to be big parts of the team's rebuilding efforts.

    One way or another, Peraza will see regular playing time in 2017, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The 22-year-old hit .324/.352/.411 with 13 extra-base hits and 21 steals over 256 plate appearances last season.

    Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported at the end of November that the Reds were willing to listen to offers for anyone on the roster, with speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton and controllable starters Dan Straily and Anthony DeSclafani among the most value trade chips. They'd have to be blown away to move any of them, though.

                

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Jose PerazaRHP Dan Straily
    SS Zack CozartRHP Anthony DeSclafani
    1B Joey VottoLHP Brandon Finnegan
    RF Adam DuvallRHP Homer Bailey
    2B Brandon PhillipsRHP Tim Adleman
    C Devin MesoracoBullpen
    3B Eugenio SuarezRHP Alejandro Chacin (R)
    CF Billy HamiltonLHP Nick Routt (R)
    BenchRHP Jumbo Diaz
    C Tucker BarnhartRHP Blake Wood
    IF/OF Arismendy AlcantaraLHP Tony Cingrani
    IF/OF Tony RendaRHP Michael Lorenzen
    OF Scott ScheblerRHP Raisel Iglesias
    OF Steve Selsky 

24. Philadelphia Phillies

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    SP Jeremy Hellickson
    SP Jeremy HellicksonScott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    2B/OF Howie Kendrick, RP Joaquin Benoit, RP Pat Neshek, RP David Rollins

                  

    Offseason Overview

    The Philadelphia Phillies' offseason began with the surprising return of starter Jeremy Hellickson, who accepted his qualifying offer and will once again front an otherwise young starting rotation on a one-year, $17.2 million deal.

    As for newcomers, Howie Kendrick arrived in Philly in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers to shore up one of the outfield spots, and the club bolstered its bullpen with Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit.

    Benoit will compete with Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez for the closer's job this spring, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly.

    A trade of either Cesar Hernandez or Freddy Galvis to clear a path for top prospect J.P. Crawford remains a possibility, and the team could make a play for a power bat to slot in the middle of the lineup, depending on how the market unfolds.

    The Phillies have plenty of money to spend, per CSN Philly's Corey Seidman.

                   

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Cesar Hernandez RHP Jeremy Hellickson
    LF Howie Kendrick RHP Jerad Eickhoff
    CF Odubel Herrera RHP Aaron Nola
    3B Maikel Franco RHP Vincent Velasquez
    1B Tommy Joseph RHP Alec Asher
    C Cameron RuppBullpen
    SS Freddy Galvis LHP Adam Morgan
    RF Aaron Altherr RHP Edubray Ramos
    Bench LHP Joely Rodriguez
    C Jorge Alfaro (R)RHP Pat Neshek
    1B Brock Stassi RHP Hector Neris
    IF Jesmuel Valentin (R) RHP Jeanmar Gomez
    OF Tyler Goeddel RHP Joaquin Benoit
    OF Roman Quinn (R) 

23. Atlanta Braves

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    C Tyler Flowers
    C Tyler FlowersJennifer Stewart/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    SP Bartolo Colon, SP Jaime Garcia, SP R.A. Dickey, IF/OF Sean Rodriguez, C Tuffy Gosewisch, RP Jacob Lindgren, RP Luke Jackson, RP Armando Rivero (Rule 5), OF Alex Jackson, RP Jordan Walden

          

    Offseason Overview

    The Atlanta Braves wasted little time adding a veteran presence to their starting rotation, significantly increasing the average age of their 25-man roster by signing Bartolo Colon (43) and R.A. Dickey (42) to one-year deals.

    Adding those twoalong with bounce-back candidate Jaime Garcia in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals—means the Braves won't be forced to lean as heavily on their young arms, which will allow guys like Matt Wisler (24), Aaron Blair (24) and Tyrell Jenkins (24) further time to develop.

    It appears the team is content going with some combination of Tyler Flowers, Anthony Recker and waiver claim Tuffy Gosewisch behind the plate, though the Braves could still make a play for someone like Matt Wieters, Welington Castillo or Kurt Suzuki if the price is right.

    Patience will be the key for this team, as it has a loaded farm system, but the bulk of the high-end talent is still in the lower levels of the minors. That'll be a tough task, especially as it's opening a new stadium, but it's for the best.

             

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Ender InciarteRHP Julio Teheran
    SS Dansby Swanson (R)RHP Bartolo Colon
    1B Freddie FreemanLHP Jaime Garcia
    LF Matt KempRHP R.A. Dickey
    RF Nick MarkakisRHP Mike Foltynewicz
    3B Adonis GarciaBullpen
    C Tyler FlowersRHP Josh Collmenter
    2B Jace PetersonRHP Armando Rivero (R)
    BenchRHP Jose Ramirez
    C Tuffy GosewischLHP Ian Krol
    C Anthony ReckerRHP Mauricio Cabrera
    IF/OF Chase d'ArnaudRHP Arodys Vizcaino
    IF/OF Sean RodriguezRHP Jim Johnson
    OF Mallex Smith 

22. Los Angeles Angels

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    RF Kole Calhoun
    RF Kole CalhounLeon Halip/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    OF Cameron Maybin, SP Jesse Chavez, OF Ryan LaMarre, RP Kirby Yates, IF Nolan Fontana, RP Brooks Pounders, RP Justin Miller

           

    Offseason Overview

    The Los Angeles Angels will need to do a little better than Cameron Maybin and Jesse Chavez as the marquee additions of the offseason if they hope to climb back into contention in the AL West.

    Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register broke down the team's search for an upgrade at second base, naming Cesar Hernandez from the Philadelphia Phillies as perhaps the best fit while also pointing to Chase Utley and Stephen Drew as free-agent options.

    Along with upgrading the keystone, adding more offensive balance should also be a priority for the Angels, as right fielder Kole Calhoun is the only left-handed bat in the starting lineup.

    Earlier this offseason, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports suggested that the team could shop Matt Shoemaker and Tyler Skaggs in an effort to capitalize on the starting pitching market by upgrading another area of need. It remains to be seen if that's something the club has considered, though.

     

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    3B Yunel EscobarRHP Garrett Richards
    RF Kole CalhounRHP Matt Shoemaker
    CF Mike TroutLHP Tyler Skaggs
    DH Albert PujolsRHP Ricky Nolasco
    1B C.J. CronRHP Jesse Chavez
    LF Cameron MaybinBullpen
    SS Andrelton SimmonsRHP J.C. Ramirez
    C Jett BandyRHP Deolis Guerra
    2B Cliff PenningtonRHP Mike Morin
    BenchLHP Jose Alvarez
    C Carlos PerezRHP Andrew Bailey
    IF Kaleb CowartRHP Cam Bedrosian
    IF/OF Jefry MarteRHP Huston Street
    OF Shane Robinson 

21. Miami Marlins

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    SP/RP David Phelps
    SP/RP David PhelpsJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    SP Edinson Volquez, SP Jeff Locke, C A.J. Ellis, RP Elvis Araujo, OF Matt den Dekker, SP/RP Kyle Lobstein, C Carlos Paulino, RP Caleb Thielbar

        

    Offseason Overview

    The Miami Marlins upgraded their starting rotation for a combined $25 million with the signings of Edinson Volquez and Jeff Locke—a pair of former Pittsburgh Pirates starters who will reunite with pitching guru Jim Benedict.

    Those are not season-changing additions, though, and the focus is still on adding to what is already a strong bullpen in an effort to shorten games.

    Kenley Jansen has been the team's No. 1 target all offseason, and the Marlins have made a huge five-year offer in excess of $80 million, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

    Don't underestimate the impact that veteran catcher A.J. Ellis could have on the pitching staff. Manager Don Mattingly saw his work firsthand in Los Angeles and knows the benefits he can bring.

             

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Dee Gordon LHP Wei-Yin Chen
    3B Martin PradoRHP Edinson Volquez
    LF Christian Yelich LHP Adam Conley
    RF Giancarlo Stanton RHP Tom Koehler
    CF Marcell Ozuna LHP Jeff Locke
    1B Justin Bour Bullpen
    C J.T. Realmuto RHP Jose Urena
    SS Adeiny Hechavarria RHP Dustin McGowan
    Bench LHP Hunter Cervenka
    C A.J. Ellis RHP Brian Ellington
    IF Miguel Rojas RHP David Phelps
    IF/OF Derek Dietrich RHP Kyle Barraclough
    OF Destin Hood (R) RHP A.J. Ramos
    OF Ichiro Suzuki 

20. Tampa Bay Rays

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    SP Drew Smyly
    SP Drew SmylyStacy Revere/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    C Wilson Ramos, RP Kevin Gadea (Rule 5)

         

    Offseason Overview

    The Tampa Bay Rays have finally made a legitimate upgrade at catcher...he's just broken at the moment.

    They inked Wilson Ramos to a two-year, $12.5 million deal that has a chance to be a major bargain, assuming he returns to his pre-injury form.

    Ramos suffered a torn ACL in September, and the injury is expected to sideline him until at least June, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

    Chances are the Rays won't make any other "splashy" signings this offseason, so the attention will now turn to a pitching staff full of potential trade candidates.

    According to Topkin, the team is more likely to move Drew Smyly and Alex Cobb than it is Chris Archer or Jake Odorizzi, due to the exorbitant asking price attached to the latter two.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Logan ForsytheRHP Chris Archer
    CF Kevin KiermaierRHP Jake Odorizzi
    3B Evan LongoriaLHP Drew Smyly
    1B Brad MillerRHP Alex Cobb
    SS Matt DuffyLHP Blake Snell
    LF Corey DickersonBullpen
    RF Steven SouzaRHP Matt Andriese
    DH Nick FranklinRHP Erasmo Ramirez
    C Curt CasaliLHP Enny Romero
    BenchRHP Danny Farquhar
    C Luke MaileLHP Xavier Cedeno
    IF Tim BeckhamRHP Brad Boxberger
    IF/OF Patrick LeonardRHP Alex Colome
    OF Mikie Mahtook 

    *Wilson Ramos is expected to begin the season on the DL as he recovers from knee surgery.

19. Kansas City Royals

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    CF Lorenzo Cain
    CF Lorenzo CainRonald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    OF Jorge Soler

    Offseason Overview

    The Kansas City Royals made it clear early in the offseason that trimming payroll would be a necessity this winter, according to Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star.

    With a number of arbitration-eligible players due substantial raises and the back-loaded contracts of both Alex Gordon and Ian Kennedy, that means moving veteran talent.

    Closer Wade Davis and his $10 million salary was first out the door, as the Royals sent him to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for outfielder Jorge Soler, who brings four years of cheap team control and a ton of offensive upside.

    And that might be just the first blow to the World Series core.

    "The Royals may not be done, either. Outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson are drawing interest. Mike Moustakas could be traded. Perhaps others, too," wrote Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Alcides Escobar LHP Danny Duffy
    3B Mike Moustakas RHP Ian Kennedy
    RF Lorenzo Cain RHP Yordano Ventura
    1B Eric Hosmer LHP Jason Vargas
    C Salvador Perez LHP Mike Minor
    LF Alex GordonBullpen
    DH Jorge Soler RHP Chris Young
    CF Jarrod Dyson LHP Brian Flynn
    2B Raul Mondesi LHP Scott Alexander
    Bench RHP Kevin McCarthy (R)
    C Drew Butera LHP Matt Strahm (R)
    IF Christian Colon RHP Joakim Soria
    IF Cheslor Cuthbert RHP Kelvin Herrera
    OF Paulo Orlando 

18. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    CF Andrew McCutchen
    CF Andrew McCutchenKirk Irwin/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    RP Lisalverto Bonilla, RP Tyler Webb (Rule 5), RP Dan Runzler, RP Jason Stoffel

         

    Offseason Overview

    On the heels of a disappointing 78-83 finish, the Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in a transition period.

    The big story so far this offseason has been the team's shopping the face of the franchise, Andrew McCutchen, who is coming off the worst campaign of his career.

    According to Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball, a deal with the Washington Nationals was close, but they opted for Adam Eaton instead, and now it looks increasingly likely that McCutchen will be back in the fold for 2017.

    Then there's the starting rotation, which has gotten younger over the past year and will be leaning heavily on an inexperienced group behind ace Gerrit Cole.

    The club has checked in on names like Doug Fister and Jorge De La Rosa, per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Derek Holland, per TR Sullivan of MLB.com; and perhaps the biggest reclamation project of all, Tyson Ross, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    Expect at least one lottery ticket signing of that sort to bolster the staff on the cheap.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Josh HarrisonRHP Gerrit Cole
    RF Gregory PolancoRHP Jameson Taillon
    CF Andrew McCutchenRHP Chad Kuhl
    LF Starling MarteRHP Drew Hutchison
    3B Jung Ho KangRHP Tyler Glasnow (R)
    1B Josh Bell (R)Bullpen
    C Francisco CervelliRHP Juan Nicasio
    SS Jordy MercerLHP Wade LeBlanc
    BenchRHP A.J. Schugel
    C Chris StewartLHP Antonio Bastardo
    1B John JasoRHP Jared Hughes
    1B/3B David FreeseLHP Felipe Rivero
    IF Alen Hanson (R)LHP Tony Watson
    IF/OF Adam Frazier 

17. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    C Chris Herrmann
    C Chris HerrmannRob Foldy/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    SP Taijuan Walker, SS Ketel Marte, RP Fernando Rodney, C Jeff Mathis, OF Jeremy Hazelbaker, RP Tyler Jones (Rule 5)

             

    Offseason Overview

    The Arizona Diamondbacks pulled off the first big trade of the offseason when they sold high on Jean Segura and shipped him to the Seattle Mariners for right-hander Taijuan Walker and shortstop Ketel Marte.

    That was followed by the somewhat surprising decision to non-tender catcher Welington Castillo, who posted a .745 OPS with 24 doubles, 14 home runs and 68 RBI en route to a 2.4 WAR but graded out as a below-average pitch-framer.

    The team signed veteran Jeff Mathis (a stellar pitch-framer) shortly thereafter to a two-year, $4 million deal, and it appears he'll split time with the versatile Chris Herrmann behind the dish.

    The team also signed Fernando Rodney to step into the closer's role, per Today's Knuckleball's Jon Heyman. Arizona may not be finished adding to the bullpen, as it was looking to acquire "multiple relievers" this offseason, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

     

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF A.J. PollockRHP Zack Greinke
    2B Chris OwingsLHP Robbie Ross
    1B Paul GoldschmidtRHP Taijuan Walker
    RF David PeraltaRHP Shelby Miller
    LF Yasmany TomasLHP Patrick Corbin
    3B Jake LambBullpen
    C Chris HerrmannRHP Tyler Jones (R)
    SS Ketel MarteLHP Jared Miller (R)
    BenchRHP Enrique Burgos
    C Jeff MathisLHP Andrew Chafin
    IF Nick AhmedRHP Randall Delgado
    IF/OF Brandon DruryRHP Jake Barrett
    IF/OF Phil GosselinRHP Fernando Rodney
    OF Jeremy Hazelbaker 

16. Colorado Rockies

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    SP Jon Gray
    SP Jon GrayLisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    1B/OF Ian Desmond, IF Daniel Castro

          

    Offseason Overview

    Can the Colorado Rockies make the jump from pesky offensive-minded squad to legitimate contender this season? At least one national reporter thinks so.

    "I think the Rockies are the best came-out-of-nowhere playoff bet this year. Great bats, underappreciated young arms, excellent farm system," Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweeted.

    For the first time in years, the starting rotation shows legitimate promise, fronted by a budding star in Jon Gray. The bullpen still needs work, though, after finishing last in the majors with a 5.13 ERA in 2016.

    Then there's that offense, which added another big piece to the puzzle Wednesday when Ian Desmond signed a five-year, $70 million deal, per ESPN.com's Jim Bowden. He profiles as the team's starting first baseman, though signing him speculatively allows more freedom to shop Charlie Blackmon for pitching help.

    More offensive thunder might be coming, too, as the club remains interested in slugger Mark Trumbo even after signing Desmond, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Charlie Blackmon RHP Jon Gray
    2B DJ LeMahieu RHP Chad Bettis
    3B Nolan Arenado LHP Tyler Anderson
    RF Carlos Gonzalez RHP Tyler Chatwood
    1B Ian Desmond RHP Jeff Hoffman (R)
    LF David Dahl Bullpen
    SS Trevor Story RHP Jordan Lyles
    C Tony Wolters RHP Chad Qualls
    Bench LHP Chris Rusin
    C Tom Murphy (R) RHP Carlos Estevez
    1B/OF Gerardo Parra RHP Jason Motte
    IF Cristhian Adames LHP Jake McGee
    IF Pat Valaika (R) RHP Adam Ottavino
    OF Raimel Tapia (R) 

15. Baltimore Orioles

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    RP Zach Britton
    RP Zach BrittonMatt Hazlett/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    SP/RP Logan Verrett, OF Adam Brett Walker, OF Aneury Tavarez (Rule 5), RP Jed Bradley, OF Logan Schafer

          

    Offseason Overview

    The Baltimore Orioles continue to be patient in their search for a starting catcher and corner outfield help, while a reunion with slugger Mark Trumbo remains a possibility.

    Manager Buck Showalter identified catchers Welington Castillo and Nick Hundley and outfielders Michael Saunders and Michael Bourn as four players the team has some level of interest in on the free-agent market, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.

    As for Trumbo, the latest report from Buster Olney of ESPN had the Orioles comfortable with a four-year deal in the $52-$55 million range, with Trumbo countering with $75-$80 million and a full no-trade clause.

    The O's will continue to get calls on relievers Zach Britton and Brad Brach with everyone looking for quality bullpen arms, though it would take a significant haul to pry either All-Star loose.

           

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Adam JonesRHP Chris Tillman
    LF Hyun Soo KimRHP Kevin Gausman
    3B Manny MachadoRHP Dylan Bundy
    1B Chris DavisRHP Ubaldo Jimenez
    DH Trey ManciniRHP Yovani Gallardo
    2B Jonathan SchoopBullpen
    SS J.J. HardyLHP Wade Miley
    RF Joey RickardRHP Logan Verrett
    C Caleb JosephLHP Donnie Hart
    BenchRHP Mychal Givens
    C Francisco PenaRHP Darren O'Day
    1B/OF Christian WalkerRHP Brad Brach
    IF/OF Ryan FlahertyLHP Zach Britton
    OF Dariel Alvarez 

14. Detroit Tigers

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    RF J.D. Martinez
    RF J.D. MartinezBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    SP/RP Victor Alcantara, RP Daniel Stumpf (Rule 5), RP William Cuevas

         

    Offseason Overview

    It sounded like the Detroit Tigers were open for business on the trade market when the offseason started, but they've changed their tune.

    "The Tigers' asking prices for their most coveted players are so high at this point that some interested teams wonder if Detroit will be able to find suitable deals for players besides J.D. Martinez," Buster Olney of ESPN wrote.

    According to Evan Woodbery of MLive.com, lefty reliever Justin Wilson generated plenty of interest this week and could be dealt. That blockbuster deal for someone like Miguel Cabrera or Justin Verlander is looking less and less likely, though.

    As for potential additions, bringing a veteran aboard to compete for the starting center field job makes sense for Detroit, and a reunion with Austin Jackson could be a nice low-cost solution.

    At any rate, this team looks to be in that dreaded gray area between contending and rebuilding.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Ian KinslerRHP Justin Verlander
    RF J.D. MartinezRHP Michael Fulmer
    1B Miguel CabreraRHP Jordan Zimmermann
    DH Victor MartinezRHP Anibal Sanchez
    LF Justin UptonLHP Daniel Norris
    3B Nick CastellanosBullpen
    C James McCannRHP Mike Pelfrey
    CF Tyler CollinsLHP Daniel Stumpf (R)
    SS Jose IglesiasRHP Mark Lowe
    BenchRHP Bruce Rondon
    C John HicksLHP Justin Wilson
    IF/OF Andrew RomineRHP Alex Wilson
    OF Anthony GoseRHP Francisco Rodriguez
    OF Steven Moya 

13. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    SS Corey Seager
    SS Corey SeagerJamie Squire/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    1B/OF Darin Ruf, RP Vidal Nuno, UT Darnell Sweeney

         

    Offseason Overview

    The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to kick the tires on options to man both second and third base, though reunions with free agents Chase Utley and Justin Turner still rank as the most likely solutions.

    Then there's the bullpena group that led the majors with a 3.35 ERA last season but leaned heavily on Kenley Jansen and Joe Blanton in the process—two players the team stands to lose in free agency.

    The latest report from Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times suggests the Dodgers might not be willing to match the $80 million-plus offer the Marlins have made to Jansen, leaving them looking elsewhere for a closer.

    Alex Colome (TB) and David Robertson (CWS) are two possible trade options, while free agents like Brad Ziegler, Neftali Feliz, Sergio Romo and Koji Uehara offer closer's experience but come with question marks.

    The Dodgers still have a lot of work to do.

         

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Andrew Toles LHP Clayton Kershaw
    RF Yasiel Puig LHP Rich Hill
    SS Corey Seager RHP Kenta Maeda
    1B Adrian Gonzalez LHP Scott Kazmir
    C Yasmani Grandal LHP Julio Urias
    CF Joc Pederson Bullpen
    3B Rob Segedin (R) RHP Brandon McCarthy
    2B Kike Hernandez LHP Alex Wood
    Bench LHP Luis Avilan
    OF Trayce Thompson RHP Chris Hatcher
    1B/OF Darin Ruf LHP Grant Dayton
    IF Charlie Culberson RHP Josh Fields
    OF Andre Ethier RHP Pedro Baez
      

12. New York Yankees

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    RP Aroldis Chapman
    RP Aroldis ChapmanJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    RP Aroldis Chapman, OF Matt Holliday, SP Albert Abreu, SP Zack Littell

          

    Offseason Overview

    The New York Yankees got their guy late Wednesday night, bringing back flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman on a five-year, $86 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

    With the bulk of their attention focused on the closer market to this point in the offseason, they can turn their sights to the rest of the roster.

    It doesn't sound like their offseason plans involve adding another starting pitcher, though.

    "I don't anticipate it,'" GM Brian Cashman told reporters of adding a starter. "It's a tough market, and the price tags are extremely high. We could play on a lot of things because we have a lot of prospects people desire and we desire them, too. I would say it's less likely for us to acquire a starter."

    Adding another corner outfielder would make sense to allow prospect Aaron Judge further time to develop in the minors. At the same time, the team is entertaining offers for Brett Gardner, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Brett Gardner RHP Masahiro Tanaka
    CF Jacoby Ellsbury LHP CC Sabathia
    C Gary Sanchez RHP Michael Pineda
    DH Matt Holliday RHP Bryan Mitchell
    1B Greg Bird RHP Luis Severino
    2B Starlin CastroBullpen
    SS Didi Gregorius RHP Chad Green
    3B Chase Headley LHP Nick Goody
    RF Aaron Hicks RHP Adam Warren
    Bench LHP Tommy Layne
    C Austin Romine RHP Tyler Clippard
    1B/OF Tyler Austin (R) RHP Dellin Betances
    IF Ronald Torreyes LHP Aroldis Chapman
    OF Mason Williams 

11. Seattle Mariners

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    C Mike Zunino
    C Mike ZuninoStephen Brashear/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    SS Jean Segura, C Carlos Ruiz, IF/OF Danny Valencia, RP Marc Rzepczynski, RP Casey Fien, OF Mitch Haniger, OF Taylor Motter, SP Chris Heston, SP Rob Whalen, RP Zac Curtis, RP James Pazos, SP Christian Bergman, RP Micah Owings

          

    Offseason Overview

    It's been another offseason of wheeling and dealing from Seattle Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto.

    The trade that sent Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for infielder Jean Segura was the big one. While Segura was the marquee name heading to Seattle in that deal, he may not be the only impact pickup.

    "(Mitch) Haniger could end up being the most important player in that trade," one opposing scout told Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. "There's some potential."

    Assuming no more outfield additions arrivewhich is a big assumption when you're talking about DipotoHaniger could have a shot at winning the starting left field job this spring.

    As for remaining needs, the team is looking to add another starter after dealing Walker, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Jean Segura RHP Felix Hernandez
    RF Seth Smith RHP Hisashi Iwakuma
    2B Robinson Cano LHP James Paxton
    DH Nelson Cruz RHP Nathan Karns
    3B Kyle Seager LHP Ariel Miranda
    C Mike Zunino Bullpen
    1B Dan Vogelbach (R) RHP Tony Zych
    LF Mitch Haniger (R) RHP Arquimedes Caminero
    CF Leonys Martin RHP Evan Scribner
    BenchRHP Casey Fien
    C Carlos RuizLHP Marc Rzepczynski
    IF/OF Shawn O'Malley RHP Nick Vincent
    IF/OF Danny Valencia RHP Edwin Diaz
    OF Ben Gamel  

10. Texas Rangers

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    OF Shin-Soo Choo
    OF Shin-Soo ChooR. Yeatts/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    SP Andrew Cashner, SP/RP Tyler Wagner, SP Tyrell Jenkins, RP Brady Dragmire, RP Mike Hauschild (Rule 5), 3B Will Middlebrooks, OF Cesar Puello, SP Allen Webster

         

    Offseason Overview

    The Texas Rangers added the No. 3 starter they needed in Andrew Cashner and addressed the center field situation by re-signing Carlos Gomez to a one-year, $11.5 million deal.

    According to TR Sullivan of MLB.com, president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said adding another "big-ticket" free agent is unlikely, but the team could still look to make further additions.

    An added outfielder would allow Shin-Soo Choo to move into the DH role full-time, which would also make the offense less reliant on strikeout machine Joey Gallo.

    On the other end of that, signing a power bat to take over DH responsibilities or to serve as the everyday first baseman is also a possibility following the departures of Carlos Beltran and Mitch Moreland.

    There's always room for more pitching help, too, as Cashner is far from a sure thing and the organization is lacking in viable starting pitching depth.

              

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Carlos GomezLHP Cole Hamels
    RF Shin-Soo ChooRHP Yu Darvish
    3B Adrian BeltreRHP Andrew Cashner
    2B Rougned OdorLHP Martin Perez
    C Jonathan LucroyRHP A.J. Griffin
    LF Nomar MazaraBullpen
    SS Elvis AndrusLHP Alex Claudio
    DH Joey GalloRHP Tony Barnette
    1B Jurickson ProfarRHP Keone Kela
    BenchRHP Matt Bush
    C Robinson ChirinosLHP Jake Diekman
    IF Hanser AlbertoRHP Jeremy Jeffress
    IF/OF Ryan RuaRHP Sam Dyson
    OF Delino DeShields Jr. 

9. Toronto Blue Jays

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    SP Aaron Sanchez
    SP Aaron SanchezVaughn Ridley/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    DH Kendrys Morales, IF/OF Steve Pearce, IF Lourdes Gurriel, RP Leonel Campos, RP Dominic Leone, RP Glenn Sparkman (Rule 5), SP/RP Brett Oberholtzer, C Michael Ohlman

         

    Offseason Overview

    The Toronto Blue Jays still have work to do in rebuilding a lineup that has been among the most feared in baseball for the past several seasons.

    Kendrys Morales signed a three-year, $33 million deal to help replace some of the run production lost with the likely departures of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista.

    It's not out of the question that one of those players could still return to Toronto, as the market has been slow to develop for both guys. Counting on that would be unwise, though.

    The versatile Steve Pearce was a nice under-the-radar pickup who can platoon with Justin Smoak at first base and play both corner outfield spots.

    That said, the team still needs at least one more outfielder and a backup catcher. Another bullpen arm or two wouldn't hurt, either, specifically from the left side after losing Brett Cecil.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Devon TravisRHP Aaron Sanchez
    LF Steve PearceLHP J.A. Happ
    3B Josh DonaldsonRHP Marco Estrada
    DH Kendrys MoralesRHP Marcus Stroman
    SS Troy TulowitzkiLHP Francisco Liriano
    1B Justin SmoakBullpen
    C Russell MartinRHP Mike Bolsinger
    CF Kevin PillarRHP Glenn Sparkman (R)
    RF Ezequiel CarreraRHP Ryan Tepera
    BenchLHP Aaron Loup
    C A.J. Jimenez (R)RHP Joe Biagini
    IF Ryan GoinsRHP Jason Grilli
    IF/OF Darwin BarneyRHP Roberto Osuna
    OF Melvin Upton Jr. 

8. New York Mets

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    RF Jay Bruce
    RF Jay BruceNorm Hall/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    None

         

    Offseason Overview

    The New York Mets have been working hard to move one of Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson since re-signing Yoenis Cespedes, with Granderson drawing more trade interest, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

    With Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo also in the mix for playing time in the outfield, breaking up that logjam becomes an obvious priority, but the team won't just dump either of those veterans for a minimal return.

    On the flip side, the Mets are still looking to add more bullpen help and are targeting left-handed relievers, according to Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball.

    A reunion with Jerry Blevins would make a lot of sense, with Mike Dunn, Boone Logan and J.P. Howell representing the other top free-agent options.

         

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Curtis Granderson RHP Noah Syndergaard
    SS Asdrubal Cabrera RHP Jacob deGrom
    LF Yoenis Cespedes RHP Matt Harvey
    RF Jay Bruce LHP Steven Matz
    2B Neil Walker RHP Zack Wheeler
    3B David WrightBullpen
    1B Lucas Duda RHP Seth Lugo
    C Travis d'Arnaud LHP Josh Edgin
    Bench RHP Erik Goeddel
    C Rene Rivera LHP Josh Smoker (R)
    IF Wilmer Flores RHP Hansel Robles
    IF Jose Reyes RHP Addison Reed
    OF Michael Conforto RHP Jeurys Familia
    OF Juan Lagares  

7. St. Louis Cardinals

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    SP Alex Reyes
    SP Alex ReyesJon Durr/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    CF Dexter Fowler, RP Brett Cecil, SP John Gant, OF Todd Cunningham, SP Chris Ellis, SP Kendry Flores, RP Zach Phillips, IF Wilfredo Tovar

          

    Offseason Overview

    After being tied to several different names throughout the offseason the St. Louis Cardinals finally found their center fielder.

    Free agent Dexter Fowler has agreed to a five-year deal worth at least $16 million per year, pending a physical, according to Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball.

    The Cardinals watched Jason Heyward and John Lackey depart to join the rival Chicago Cubs last offseason, so this serves as a bit of payback while also addressing the team's biggest need.

    Meanwhile, even after trading Jaime Garcia, the team still stands to have seven pitchers vying for a rotation spot—eight if Trevor Rosenthal is stretched out—so big decisions await on the pitching side of things.

    Speculatively speaking, Michael Wacha looks like the perfect candidate to step into an Andrew Miller-type role in the bullpen. He could ditch his mediocre cutter and go back to being the fastball-changeup pitcher he was when he first broke into the league, and the move might help keep him healthy.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Dexter FowlerRHP Carlos Martinez
    SS Aledmys DiazRHP Adam Wainwright
    1B Matt CarpenterRHP Lance Lynn
    RF Stephen PiscottyRHP Mike Leake
    LF Randal GrichukRHP Alex Reyes (R)
    C Yadier MolinaBullpen
    3B Jhonny PeraltaRHP Michael Wacha
    2B Kolten WongRHP Miguel Socolovich
    BenchRHP Jonathan Broxton
    C Carson Kelly (R)LHP Brett Cecil
    1B Matt AdamsRHP Trevor Rosenthal
    IF Greg GarciaLHP Kevin Siegrist
    IF Jedd GyorkoRHP Seung Hwan Oh
    OF Tommy Pham 

6. San Francisco Giants

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    OF Jarrett Parker
    OF Jarrett ParkerBrad Mangin/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    RP Mark Melancon, IF Orlando Calixte, RP Jose Dominguez, RP Bryan Morris, IF Ramiro Pena, RP Neil Ramirez, RP Michael Roth

          

    Offseason Overview

    The San Francisco Giants landed the dominant bullpen arm they desperately needed, signing Mark Melancon to a four-year, $62 million deal.

    That might be it for significant offseason additions.

    "I don't think there's anything more to ask of ownership," GM Bobby Evans told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle when asked about adding other big pieces. "It's more what I can do with what we have."

    That likely means the vacant left field spot will be an open competition this spring between Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson.

    Moving Eduardo Nunez to the outfield and giving Conor Gillaspie regular playing time at third base is also a speculative option, though they've given no indication they'll consider such a move.

         

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Denard SpanLHP Madison Bumgarner
    2B Joe PanikRHP Johnny Cueto
    C Buster PoseyRHP Jeff Samardzija
    RF Hunter PenceLHP Matt Moore
    1B Brandon BeltRHP Matt Cain
    SS Brandon CrawfordBullpen
    3B Eduardo NunezRHP Cory Gearrin
    LF Jarrett ParkerRHP George Kontos
    BenchLHP Steven Okert
    C Trevor BrownRHP Hunter Strickland
    1B/3B Conor GillaspieLHP Will Smith
    IF Ehire AdrianzaRHP Derek Law
    OF Gorkys HernandezRHP Mark Melancon
    OF Mac Williamson 

5. Houston Astros

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    DH Carlos Beltran
    DH Carlos BeltranBob Levey/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    DH Carlos Beltran, C Brian McCann, OF Josh Reddick, SP Charlie Morton, OF Nori Aoki, RP Ashur Tolliver, RHP C.J. Riefenhauser

          

    Offseason Overview

    The Houston Astros were quiet at the winter meetings, but they were the busiest team in baseball in the days and weeks leading up to them.

    They added both Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick in free agency, and they acquired Brian McCann in a trade with the New York Yankees, leaving the Astros with a lineup that rivals any.

    Now the focus turns to the starting rotation.

    With Dallas Keuchel regressing from his 2015 Cy Young form and Lance McCullers battling injury, the staff is lacking a bona fide ace, and with plenty of prospect talent at its disposal, Houston could look to make a big move on the trade market.

    Buster Olney of ESPN reported that the team is more likely to pursue a trade for a starter than to sign anyone from the remaining free-agent crop. This is one case where a front-line starter could be the missing piece.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF George SpringerLHP Dallas Keuchel
    2B Jose AltuveRHP Lance McCullers
    SS Carlos CorreaRHP Collin McHugh
    DH Carlos BeltranRHP Mike Fiers
    C Brian McCannRHP Charlie Morton
    3B Alex BregmanBullpen
    RF Josh ReddickRHP Chris Devenski
    1B Yulieski Gurriel (R)RHP Brad Peacock
    LF Nori AokiRHP Michael Feliz
    BenchLHP Tony Sipp
    C Evan GattisRHP Luke Gregerson
    1B/OF Preston TuckerRHP Will Harris
    IF/OF Marwin GonzalezRHP Ken Giles
    OF Jake Marisnick 

4. Washington Nationals

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    SP Max Scherzer
    SP Max ScherzerRob Carr/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    CF Adam Eaton, C Derek Norris, RP Jimmy Cordero

    Offseason Overview

    Well...the Washington Nationals got their center fielder.

    In easily the most shocking move of the winter meetings, the Nats shipped pitching prospects Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Adam Eaton.

    Eaton was a 6.2 WAR player last season thanks in large part to his stellar defense, and he's controllable for the next five years at the laughably reasonable sum of $38.4 million.

    Still, we're talking about a trade package that most would have expected to land a Chris Sale, not a second-tier outfielder few consider to be a true impact player.

    Then again, Max Scherzer is at his peak, and nothing is guaranteed with Bryce Harper beyond the 2018 season, so if ever there was a time to go all-in, it's right now.

     

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Trea Turner RHP Max Scherzer
    CF Adam Eaton RHP Stephen Strasburg
    2B Daniel Murphy RHP Tanner Roark
    RF Bryce Harper LHP Gio Gonzalez
    3B Anthony Rendon RHP Joe Ross
    LF Jayson Werth Bullpen
    1B Ryan Zimmerman LHP Matt Grace
    C Derek Norris RHP Rafael Martin
    Bench LHP Oliver Perez
    C Jose Lobaton RHP Trevor Gott
    1B/OF Clint Robinson LHP Sammy Solis
    IF Danny Espinosa RHP Blake Treinen
    OF Chris Heisey RHP Shawn Kelley
    OF Michael Taylor 

3. Cleveland Indians

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    RP Andrew Miller
    RP Andrew MillerJamie Squire/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    RP Edwin Escobar, SP Tim Cooney, RP Hoby Milner (Rule 5), C Erik Kratz

    Offseason Overview

    Aside from losing Mike Napoli and Rajai Davis in free agency, the Cleveland Indians return essentially the same roster that captured the AL pennant.

    The focus right now is on finding that right-handed power hitter to anchor the middle of the lineup.

    Re-signing Napoli remains a real possibility, while the team has also talked to Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Mark Trumbo, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

    That said, the return of a healthy Michael Brantley would be a bigger addition to the roster than anyone the team acquires this offseason, and a bounce-back season from Yan Gomes would go a long way as well.

    This is a talented team with the pitching to make another run to the World Series, even if no significant additions are made the rest of the offseason.

     

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    1B Carlos SantanaRHP Corey Kluber
    2B Jason KipnisRHP Carlos Carrasco
    SS Francisco LindorRHP Danny Salazar
    DH Michael BrantleyRHP Trevor Bauer
    3B Jose RamirezRHP Josh Tomlin
    RF Lonnie ChisenhallBullpen
    C Yan GomesRHP Mike Clevinger
    CF Tyler NaquinLHP Edwin Escobar
    LF Abraham AlmonteRHP Zach McAllister
    BenchRHP Dan Otero
    C Roberto PerezRHP Bryan Shaw
    1B Jesus AguilarLHP Andrew Miller
    IF Michael MartinezRHP Cody Allen
    OF Brandon Guyer 

2. Boston Red Sox

29 of 30

    LF Andrew Benintendi
    LF Andrew BenintendiJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    SP Chris Sale, RP Tyler Thornburg, 1B Mitch Moreland, IF Josh Rutledge (Rule 5), RP Edgar Olmos

    Offseason Overview

    After a quiet offseason leading up to the winter meetings, the Boston Red Sox landed the big one.

    It cost arguably the game's top prospect in Yoan Moncadaalong with high-ceiling starter Michael Kopech and two other prospectsbut Chris Sale is heading to Boston, where he'll join David Price and Rick Porcello atop the rotation.

    That wasn't the only significant addition made this week, either.

    Boston acquired setup man Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers after he quietly ranked as one of the best relievers in baseball last season. The 28-year-old posted a 2.15 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 over 67 appearances and has three years of team control remaining.

    The Red Sox also signed Mitch Moreland to a one-year deal to serve as the primary first baseman, allowing Hanley Ramirez to slide into the vacant DH spot.

    The biggest question now: How confident are Red Sox fans in Pablo Sandoval as the everyday third baseman now that Travis Shaw and Moncada have both been dealt?

     

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Dustin PedroiaLHP Chris Sale
    SS Xander BogaertsLHP David Price
    RF Mookie BettsRHP Rick Porcello
    DH Hanley RamirezLHP Drew Pomeranz
    1B Mitch MorelandRHP Clay Buchholz
    3B Pablo SandovalBullpen
    LF Andrew Benintendi (R)RHP Steven Wright
    CF Jackie Bradley Jr.LHP Fernando Abad
    C Sandy LeonRHP Joe Kelly
    BenchLHP Robbie Ross Jr.
    C Christian VazquezRHP Matt Barnes
    IF Josh RutledgeRHP Tyler Thornburg
    IF/OF Brock HoltRHP Craig Kimbrel
    OF Chris Young 

1. Chicago Cubs

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    2B Javier Baez
    2B Javier BaezDylan Buell/Getty Images

    Notable Offseason Additions

    RP Wade Davis, OF Jon Jay, RP Koji Uehara, RP Brian Duensing, RP Caleb Smith (Rule 5)

    Offseason Overview

    For a team that looked as well-positioned for success in 2017 as any in baseball, it's been a busy offseason for the Chicago Cubs already.

    They signed Jon Jay to a one-year, $8 million deal, presumably to platoon with Albert Almora Jr. in center field with Dexter Fowler headed for a well-earned payday elsewhere in free agency.

    The team also picked up lefty reliever Brian Duensing on a one-year, $2 million deal, though the search for quality bullpen arms figures to continue, and it's unlikely he'll open the season as the team's top southpaw option.

    Then came the winter meetings.

    With Jorge Soler viewed as an expandable piece in a crowded outfield, the team flipped him to the Kansas City Royals for Wade Davis.

    Davis dealt with some arm issues last season, and he's in the final year of his current contract, but we're still talking about a pitcher who has posted a 1.18 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 11.5 K/9 in 185 appearances over the past three seasons.

    The Cubs will continue to tinker and make small additions, particularly on the pitching side of things, but they seem set to defend their title.

     

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 7)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    RF Ben ZobristLHP Jon Lester
    3B Kris BryantRHP Jake Arrieta
    1B Anthony RizzoRHP Kyle Hendricks
    LF Kyle SchwarberRHP John Lackey
    SS Addison RussellLHP Mike Montgomery
    2B Javier BaezBullpen
    CF Jason HeywardRHP Justin Grimm
    C Willson ContrerasLHP Brian Duensing
    BenchRHP Carl Edwards Jr.
    C Miguel MonteroRHP Pedro Strop
    IF Tommy La StellaRHP Koji Uehara
    OF Albert Almora Jr.RHP Hector Rondon
    OF Jon JayRHP Wade Davis
    OF Matt Szczur 

     

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted. Projected salaries courtesy of MLBTradeRumors.com. Contract information via Spotrac unless otherwise noted.