MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stack Up Post-Winter Meetings

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2017

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stack Up Post-Winter Meetings

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    Willie J. Allen Jr./Associated Press

    The winter meetings always provide a good deal of excitement around the MLB community, and this year was no different.

    With a number of notable moves going down since the start of the offseason, it is the perfect time for an updated version of our power rankings. This will be the first update 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 2018 campaign, so if your favorite club is lower than you would like, there is still time for improvement.
    • A perfect example of this is the Boston Red Sox. If they add the impact power bat most are expecting them to land before the offseason comes to a close, they will undoubtedly climb in the rankings.

    Included for each team is an overview of their offseason to date and what to expect going forward, as well as a preliminary rundown of what the 25-man roster might look like of the season started today.

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

30. Detroit Tigers

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    Michael Fulmer
    Michael FulmerKathy Willens/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    On Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers added second baseman Ian Kinsler to the growing list of players who have been traded over the past six months, picking up pair of lottery-ticket prospects and shedding his $11 million salary in the process, per

    Right-hander Mike Fiers has been the biggest addition to date, signing a one-year, $6 million deal after he was non-tendered by the Houston Astros. The 32-year-old is arbitration-eligible through the 2019 season if he's able to turn things around after a poor 2017 season.

    Outfielder Victor Reyes was also scooped up with the No. 1 pick in the Rule 5 draft, and he'll have a chance to compete with Mikie Mahtook, JaCoby Jones and free-agent signings Leonys Martin for playing time alongside right fielder Nick Castellanos.

    The rebuild is in full effect, so unless the team pulls the trigger on flipping controllable starter Michael Fulmer, expect a relatively quiet winter.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Leonys MartinRHP Michael Fulmer
    3B Jeimer CandelarioLHP Matthew Boyd
    1B Miguel CabreraRHP Mike Fiers
    DH Victor MartinezRHP Jordan Zimmermann
    RF Nick CastellanosLHP Daniel Norris
    C James McCannBullpen
    LF Mikie MahtookRHP Buck Farmer
    2B Dixon MachadoLHP Daniel Stumpf
    SS Jose IglesiasRHP Joe Jimenez
    BenchLHP Blaine Hardy
    C John HicksRHP Drew VerHagen
    IF/OF Niko Goodrum (R)RHP Alex Wilson
    IF/OF JaCoby JonesRHP Shane Greene
    OF Victor Reyes (R) 

    DL: None

29. Kansas City Royals

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    Whit Merrifield
    Whit MerrifieldPaul Sancya/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    It appears the Kansas City Royals have given up any hope of re-signing Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain, which means a significant rebuild is coming over the next few seasons.

    While there are not a ton of movable parts left on the roster, closer Kelvin Herrera looks like a prime candidate to be traded ahead of his final year of club control.

    FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman described Danny Duffy as "extremely popular" during the winter meetings, and controllable players like Whit Merrifield (2022) and Scott Alexander (2022) also profile as attractive trade chips.

    As for any potential additions, expect them to pick through the scraps toward the end of the offseason to fill out the roster.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Whit Merrifield LHP Danny Duffy
    LF Alex Gordon RHP Ian Kennedy
    RF Jorge Bonifacio RHP Jason Hammel
    1B Brandon Moss RHP Jake Junis
    C Salvador Perez RHP Nathan Karns
    DH Jorge SolerBullpen
    3B Cheslor CuthbertRHP Burch Smith
    CF Paulo OrlandoRHP Wily Peralta
    SS Raul Mondesi RHP Brandon Maurer
    BenchLHP Ryan Buchter
    C Drew Butera RHP Joakim Soria
    IF Ramon Torres LHP Scott Alexander
    IF/OF Hunter Dozier (R) RHP Kelvin Herrera
    OF Billy Burns 

    DL: None

28. Miami Marlins

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    Christian Yelich
    Christian YelichDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Poor Christian Yelich.

    When the winter meetings began, he was part of arguably the best outfield in baseball, playing alongside Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna.

    Now he's the proverbial last man standing.

    The Miami Marlins have also traded second baseman Dee Gordon and released starter Edinson Volquez as the new ownership group continues to slash payroll.

    According to Heyman, the front office plans to sit down with Yelich to discuss his future, so don't be surprised if he is also on the move before the season is over. The 26-year-old is owed a reasonable $43.25 million over the next four seasons with a $15 million option for 2022.

    No one appears to be safe, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them slip to the No. 30 spot before the offseason is over.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    C J.T. RealmutoRHP Dan Straily
    2B Starlin CastroLHP Wei-Yin Chen
    CF Christian YelichRHP Jose Urena
    1B Justin BourLHP Dillon Peters (R)
    LF Martin PradoRHP Odrisamer Despaigne
    RF Derek DietrichBullpen
    3B Brian Anderson (R)LHP Justin Nicolino
    SS J.T. RiddleRHP Brett Graves (R)
    BenchRHP Junichi Tazawa
    C Tomas Telis LHP Jarlin Garcia
    1B Garrett Cooper (R)RHP Drew Steckenrider
    IF Miguel RojasRHP Kyle Barraclough
    OF J.B. ShuckRHP Brad Ziegler
    OF Magneuris Sierra (R) 

    DL: None

27. San Diego Padres

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    Brad Hand
    Brad HandOrlando Ramirez/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The San Diego Padres haven't made a splash this offseason, but one might be on the horizon.

    Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Thursday morning that they have become the "clear-cut favorites" to sign first baseman Eric Hosmer. That would represent a departure from the bargain-hunting approach they have employed the past few seasons.

    Former Padres star Chase Headley and right-hander Bryan Mitchell were acquired from the New York Yankees in what amounted to a salary dump, and the team has been actively looking to trade from its pool of infield depth.

    If they do sign Hosmer, it will be a forward-looking move with an eye on contending at the back of his contract, so don't expect more majors moves to follow.

    Instead, they will likely look to make a few low-risk additions to fill out the pitching staff after hitting on Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Cahill, Clayton Richard and Kirby Yates a year ago.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Manuel MargotLHP Clayton Richard
    3B Chase HeadleyRHP Dinelson Lamet
    1B Wil MyersRHP Luis Perdomo
    LF Jose PirelaLHP Travis Wood
    2B Yangervis SolarteRHP Bryan Mitchell
    RF Hunter RenfroeBullpen
    SS Freddy GalvisLHP Matt Strahm
    C Austin HedgesLHP Buddy Baumann
    BenchRHP Carter Capps
    C Rocky Gale (R)LHP Jose Torres
    3B Christian VillanuevaRHP Phil Maton
    IF Cory SpangenbergRHP Kirby Yates
    OF Travis JankowskiLHP Brad Hand
    OF Matt Szczur 

    DL: None

26. Chicago White Sox

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    Jose Abreu
    Jose AbreuNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    It's unlikely the Chicago White Sox will enter the season with Dylan Covey as the No. 5 starter after he posted a 7.71 ERA over 70 innings as a Rule 5 selection last season.

    As such, a signing similar to the one-year deal they gave Derek Holland last offseason seems likely once the starting pitching market unfolds.

    Adding Welington Castillo on a two-year, $14.5 million deal that includes an $8 million option for 2020 was a great move that should provide some stability to the young pitching staff.

    Sluggers Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia will continue to hear their names pop up in trade rumors, and there's no reason not to at least entertain offers. But at this point, it seems unlikely either player is moved.

    Filling out the bullpen with potential bargains will be the focus the rest of the way.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Tim Anderson RHP James Shields
    2B Yoan Moncada RHP Lucas Giolito
    1B Jose Abreu RHP Reynaldo Lopez
    RF Avisail Garcia RHP Carson Fulmer (R)
    DH Nicky Delmonico RHP Dylan Covey
    C Welington CastilloBullpen
    3B Yolmer SanchezRHP Chris Beck
    LF Leury GarciaRHP Rob Scahill
    CF Charlie Tilson RHP Thyago Vieira (R)
    Bench LHP Aaron Bummer (R)
    C Omar Narvaez RHP Danny Farquhar
    3B Matt Davidson RHP Gregory Infante
    IF/OF Tyler Saladino RHP Juan Minaya
    OF Willy Garcia 

    DL: SP Carlos Rodon, RP Nate Jones

25. Baltimore Orioles

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    Manny Machado
    Manny MachadoRoger Steinman/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Unless the Baltimore Orioles are going to make an effort to significantly upgrade the starting rotation, there's no reason not to trade Manny Machado.

    The O's have received 10 "legitimate offers" for their superstar third baseman, according to Nightengale, with the White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals checking in as the early front-runners.

    The 25-year-old is headed for free agency next offseason, and the Orioles have quickly fallen to the back of the pack in the AL East. The substantial haul he would bring back would go a long way toward kicking off an overdue retooling.

    And if they do go that route, closer Zach Britton and setup man Brad Brach should also be shopped.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Tim Beckham RHP Dylan Bundy
    3B Manny Machado RHP Kevin Gausman
    2B Jonathan Schoop RHP Gabriel Ynoa
    CF Adam Jones RHP Miguel Castro
    1B Chris DavisRHP Mike Wright
    LF Trey ManciniBullpen
    DH Mark Trumbo LHP Nestor Cortes (R)
    C Chance Sisco (R)RHP Jose Mesa (R)
    RF Austin Hays (R) LHP Richard Bleier
    Bench RHP Darren O'Day
    C Caleb Joseph RHP Mychal Givens
    IF Luis Sardinas RHP Brad Brach
    OF Joey Rickard LHP Zach Britton
    OF Anthony Santander (R) 

    DL: None

24. Cincinnati Reds

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    Jesse Winker
    Jesse WinkerJohn Minchillo/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    It's tough to decide exactly what to make of the Cincinnati Reds.

    Already several years into the rebuilding process, they have a solid offensive core in place that plated 4.6 runs per game last season and returns all the significant pieces except shortstop Zack Cozart.

    However, the starting rotation is still a question mark, though it's not for lack of options.

    Luis Castillo and Robert Stephenson are the front-runners to join veterans Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan and Homer Bailey in the rotation, while Amir Garrett, Rookie Davis, Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, Cody Reed, Jackson Stephens and Keury Mella will all get a look this spring.

    Some of those guys will inevitably wind up in the bullpenincluding Garrett, who is out of minor league options and a certainty to be claimed off waivers.

    If that group can take a step forward, this team could surprise some people.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Billy Hamilton RHP Anthony DeSclafani
    SS Jose Peraza LHP Brandon Finnegan
    1B Joey Votto RHP Luis Castillo
    LF Adam Duvall RHP Homer Bailey
    3B Eugenio Suarez RHP Robert Stephenson
    2B Scooter Gennett Bullpen
    RF Jesse Winker (R) LHP Amir Garrett
    C Tucker Barnhart RHP Austin Brice
    BenchLHP Kyle Crockett
    C Devin Mesoraco RHP Kevin Shackelford
    IF Alex Blandino (R) LHP Wandy Peralta
    IF Dilson Herrera RHP Michael Lorenzen
    OF Phillip Ervin (R) RHP Raisel Iglesias
    OF Scott Schebler  

    DL: None

23. Atlanta Braves

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    Max Fried
    Max FriedLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Patience continues to be the standing order for the Atlanta Braves.

    The starting rotation will likely feature a pair of rookies in Luiz Gohara and either Max Fried or Lucas Sims in the No. 5 spot unless the team adds another veteran on a short-term deal.

    Meanwhile, the middle infield of Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson is in place, and it won't be long before Minor League Player of the Year Ronald Acuna joins them in the lineup.

    Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte and Julio Teheran are the veteran building blocks on the roster, and there's plenty more young talent on the way, including Austin Riley, who might be ready to take over at third base after the All-Star break.

    Stopgap veterans and low-cost relief help figure to be the extent of their remaining shopping list.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Ender Inciarte RHP Julio Teheran
    2B Ozzie Albies LHP Sean Newcomb
    1B Freddie FreemanRHP Mike Foltynewicz
    LF Matt Kemp LHP Luiz Gohara (R)
    RF Nick Markakis LHP Max Fried (R)
    C Tyler FlowersBullpen
    SS Dansby SwansonRHP Chase Whitley
    3B Johan Camargo RHP Anyelo Gomez (R)
    Bench RHP Dan Winkler (R)
    C Kurt Suzuki LHP Sam Freeman
    IF Christian Colon RHP Luke Jackson
    3B Rio Ruiz LHP A.J. Minter (R)
    OF Lane Adams RHP Jose Ramirez
      RHP Arodys Vizcaino

    DL: RP Grant Dayton

22. San Francisco Giants

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    Jarrett Parker
    Jarrett ParkerEric Risberg/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The San Francisco Giants will be a better team in 2018 for the simple fact it would be difficult for them to be worse than the 98-loss club we saw in 2017.

    That being said, this is not a playoff contender if they are simply banking on in-house improvements.

    A full season of Madison Bumgarner and bounce-back performances from Johnny Cueto, Mark Melancon, Hunter Pence and a handful of others would undoubtedly help.

    However, we are not talking about a 20-25 win improvement amount of help, and that's what it will take for them to be in the hunt for a postseason berth.

    It won't be difficult to upgrade at third base and in left field, but until they do that, it's hard to rank them any higher.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Denard Span LHP Madison Bumgarner
    2B Joe Panik RHP Johnny Cueto
    1B Brandon Belt RHP Jeff Samardzija
    C Buster Posey LHP Matt Moore
    SS Brandon Crawford RHP Chris Stratton
    RF Hunter PenceBullpen
    LF Jarrett ParkerRHP Julian Fernandez (R)
    3B Pablo Sandoval RHP Derek Law
    Bench LHP Steven Okert
    C Trevor Brown RHP Cory Gearrin
    IF Miguel Gomez RHP Hunter Strickland
    IF Kelby Tomlinson RHP Sam Dyson
    OF Gorkys Hernandez RHP Mark Melancon
    OF Mac Williamson 

    DL: RP Will Smith

21. Philadelphia Phillies

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    J.P. Crawford
    J.P. CrawfordChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The Philadelphia Phillies have bolstered the relief corps by bringing back All-Star Pat Neshek and adding Tommy Hunter to join him in a setup role.

    However, that's not exactly the needle-moving free-agency splash for which many fans have been hoping.

    Full seasons of Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams and bigger roles for Jorge Alfaro and J.P. Crawford will represent another important step forward in the process, and there is plenty more high-end talent working its way through the minor league ranks.

    Still, this team has money to spend, and adding a top-tier starting pitcher to join Aaron Nola atop a young rotation looks like the best place to do it.

    Could they wind up signing Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish to finally kick the starting pitching market into gear?


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Cesar HernandezRHP Aaron Nola
    CF Odubel HerreraRHP Jerad Eickhoff
    LF Rhys HoskinsRHP Vince Velasquez
    1B Carlos SantanaRHP Ben Lively
    RF Nick WilliamsRHP Jake Thompson
    3B Maikel FrancoBullpen
    C Jorge AlfaroRHP Mark Leiter
    SS J.P. Crawford (R)RHP Edubray Ramos
    BenchLHP Adam Morgan
    C Cameron RuppRHP Luis Garcia
    1B Tommy JosephRHP Tommy Hunter
    IF Jesmuel Valentin (R)RHP Pat Neshek
    IF/OF Pedro FlorimonRHP Hector Neris
    OF Aaron Altherr 

    DL: None

20. Oakland Athletics

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    Sean Manaea
    Sean ManaeaTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The Oakland Athletics have quietly put together a dangerous lineup.

    Khris Davis has turned in back-to-back 40-homer seasons, while Matt Olson (216 PA, 24 HR) and Matt Chapman (326 PA, 14 HR) both flashed considerable pop in their first extended MLB action.

    Right fielder Stephen Piscotty was acquired from the Cardinals Thursday for a pair of prospects, as St. Louis announced. He looks like a great buy-low acquisition. The 26-year-old is just one year removed from posting a 113 OPS+ with 22 home runs and 85 RBI, and he's signed to a team-friendly deal through the 2022 season.

    It's never clear exactly which direction the A's are headed, as they tend to be both buyers and sellers depending on what opportunities present themselves.

    Starters Sean Manaea and Kendall Graveman and reliever Blake Treinen are all valuable trade chips, but there have been no rumblings on any of those players.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Marcus Semien RHP Kendall Graveman
    RF Matt Joyce LHP Sean Manaea
    2B Jed Lowrie RHP Andrew Triggs
    DH Khris DavisRHP Jesse Hahn
    1B Matt Olson RHP Daniel Mengden
    RF Stephen PiscottyBullpen
    3B Matt ChapmanRHP Emilio Pagan
    C Bruce Maxwell LHP Daniel Coulombe
    CF Jake Smolinski RHP Liam Hendriks
    BenchRHP Ryan Dull
    C Josh Phegley RHP Yusmeiro Petit
    IF/OF Renato Nunez (R) RHP Santiago Casilla
    IF/OF Chad Pinder RHP Blake Treinen
    OF Boog Powell 

    DL: None

19. New York Mets

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    Dominic Smith
    Dominic SmithBill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    It's already been a busier offseason for the New York Mets than a year ago, at least as far as outside additions are concerned.

    Last winter, Yoenis Cespedes signed a new contract, Neil Walker accepted a qualifying offer and Jerry Blevins re-signed in the bullpen, but not a single notable newcomer joined the roster.

    That trend was broken when reliever Anthony Swarzak signed a two-year, $14 million deal during the winter meetings, though that's at best a sideways move considering he's essentially replacing Addison Reed.

    The front office is casting a wide net in the search for a second baseman, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, and it looks like Matt Harvey could be on his way out the door. But it's hard to tell what the rest of the offseason holds for a team that needs to shake things up one way or another.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    RF Brandon Nimmo RHP Jacob deGrom
    3B Asdrubal Cabrera RHP Noah Syndergaard
    LF Yoenis Cespedes RHP Matt Harvey
    2B Wilmer Flores RHP Seth Lugo
    C Travis d'Arnaud RHP Zack Wheeler
    1B Dominic SmithBullpen
    CF Juan Lagares RHP Rafael Montero
    SS Amed Rosario LHP Josh Smoker
    Bench RHP Paul Sewald
    C Kevin Plawecki LHP Jerry Blevins
    IF Gavin CecchiniRHP Anthony Swarzak
    IF/OF Phillip Evans (R) RHP A.J. Ramos
    IF/OF Matt Reynolds RHP Jeurys Familia
    OF Zach Borenstein (R) 

    DL: OF Michael Conforto, SP Steven Matz, 3B David Wright, IF T.J. Rivera

18. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Gerrit Cole
    Gerrit ColeNick Wass/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Are the Pittsburgh Pirates going to trade Gerrit Cole?

    That's the biggest story out of Pirates camp, and it appears to be more substantive than when his name has popped up in trade talks at any point in the past.

    According to George A. King III of the New York Post, the New York Yankees are in on Cole and could be looking to build a trade package around outfielder Clint Frazier.

    The bigger question might be what comes next if the front office does pull the trigger on dealing its staff ace.

    Andrew McCutchen is a year removed from free agency, versatile Josh Harrison has plenty of trade appeal and flame-throwing closer Felipe Rivero, with his four remaining years of team control, might be the most valuable trade chip on the entire roster.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Starling Marte RHP Gerrit Cole
    2B Josh Harrison RHP Jameson Taillon
    CF Andrew McCutchen RHP Ivan Nova
    1B Josh BellRHP Trevor Williams
    3B David Freese RHP Chad Kuhl
    RF Gregory Polanco Bullpen
    C Francisco Cervelli RHP Jordan Milbrath (R)
    SS Jordy Mercer RHP Dovydas Neverauskas (R)
    BenchLHP Nik Turley (R)
    C Elias Diaz RHP A.J. Schugel
    1B/OF Jose Osuna RHP George Kontos
    IF/OF Adam Frazier RHP Daniel Hudson
    IF/OF Sean Rodriguez LHP Felipe Rivero
    OF Jordan Luplow (R) 

    DL: RP Nick Burdi, 3B Jung Ho Kang (restricted list)

17. Tampa Bay Rays

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    Alex Colome
    Alex ColomeBruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times spelled out the Tampa Bay Rays' offseason plans prior to the winter meetings:

    "They're going to trade at least a couple of their bigger-named, higher-salaried players, ceding ownership's request to cut payroll. Then, based on what they can get back and what their realistic chances are to compete for a playoff spot, determine whether to keep going and commit to an extensive makeover of their roster rather than their typical re-tooling."

    Alex Colome, Jake Odorizzi, Chris Archer and Evan Longoria were identified as the most likely trade candidates—in that order.

    If the team does decide to sell aggressively, top prospects Brent Honeywell, Jake Bauers and Willy Adames could all see significant time in the majors in 2018.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Kevin Kiermaier RHP Chris Archer
    RF Steven Souza Jr. RHP Jake Odorizzi
    3B Evan Longoria LHP Blake Snell
    LF Corey Dickerson RHP Jacob Faria
    C Wilson RamosRHP Matt Andriese
    DH Brad MillerBullpen
    1B Jake Bauers (R)RHP Nathan Eovaldi
    2B Matt Duffy RHP Austin Pruitt
    SS Adeiny Hechavarria LHP Jose Alvarado
    Bench RHP Andrew Kittredge (R)
    C Jesus Sucre LHP Dan Jennings
    IF Daniel Robertson RHP Chaz Roe
    IF/OF Micah Johnson RHP Alex Colome
    OF Mallex Smith 

    DL: None

16. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Josh Donaldson
    Josh DonaldsonTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Aside from the ongoing trade chatter surrounding star third baseman Josh Donaldsonwhich was inevitable given his impending free agency—it's been a quiet offseason for the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Assuming the front office is set on making one final push before selling at the deadline, adding at least one corner outfielder would appear to be the No. 1 priority.

    Steve Pearce is best served in a utility role, and finding a power bat to man left field and take on some of the run-production load would go a long way for the offense.

    The one notable move they have made this offseason was acquiring 2016 All-Star Aledmys Diaz from the Cardinals. He looks like a great buy-low addition, especially considering how frequently middle infielders Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki have found themselves residing on the disabled list in recent seasons.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    RF Teoscar Hernandez RHP Marcus Stroman
    3B Josh Donaldson LHP J.A. Happ
    1B Justin Smoak RHP Marco Estrada
    DH Kendrys Morales RHP Aaron Sanchez
    SS Troy Tulowitzki RHP Joe Biagini
    CF Kevin PillarBullpen
    LF Steve Pearce RHP Carlos Ramirez (R)
    C Russell Martin LHP Matt Dermody
    2B Devon Travis RHP Danny Barnes
    Bench LHP Aaron Loup
    C Luke Maile RHP Dominic Leone
    IF Aledmys Diaz RHP Ryan Tepera
    OF Ezequiel Carrera RHP Roberto Osuna
    OF Dalton Pompey 

    DL: None

15. Seattle Mariners

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    Ben Gamel
    Ben GamelPatrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Despite another busy offseason from general manager Jerry Dipoto, the Seattle Mariners are still far from a finished product.

    Missing out on Shohei Ohtani was a major blow, and they need to do something to address a suspect starting rotation.

    James Paxton is a legitimate ace if he can stay healthy, and there's reason to believe both Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake are capable of 180-plus innings and a sub-4.00 ERA, but that's simply not good enough.

    If they are going to make a run at the Houston Astros in the AL West, it might take signing someone like Yu Darvish to do it.

    At any rate, there's no shortage of motivation to snap a postseason drought that stretches back to 2001.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Dee Gordon LHP James Paxton
    SS Jean Segura RHP Felix Hernandez
    2B Robinson Cano RHP Mike Leake
    DH Nelson Cruz RHP Erasmo Ramirez
    3B Kyle Seager LHP Marco Gonzales
    RF Mitch Haniger Bullpen
    1B Ryon HealyRHP Shawn Armstrong
    C Mike Zunino LHP Marc Rzepczynski
    LF Ben Gamel RHP David Phelps
    BenchLHP James Pazos
    C Mike Marjama RHP Nick Vincent
    IF/OF Taylor Motter RHP Juan Nicasio
    IF/OF Andrew Romine RHP Edwin Diaz
    OF Guillermo Heredia 

    DL: None

14. Texas Rangers

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    Matt Bush
    Matt BushTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    It sounds like the Texas Rangers are seriously considering employing a six-man rotation next season, and given the  makeup of their roster, it makes a lot of sense, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News explained:

    "The Rangers have no returning starters who pitched 190 innings in 2017. Cole Hamels, who turns 34 in three weeks, fell to 148, his fewest since his rookie season. Three pitchers under consideration for rotation spots -- Mike Minor, Doug Fister and Matt Bush -- all pitched fewer than 100 innings last season. It's likely all would need their innings monitored and capped. A modified six-man rotation -- in which the sixth man is dropped or moved to the bullpen when scheduled off days allow for five days of rest between outings without the extra starter -- would be one way to do that."

    Moving Minor and Bush out of bullpen roles where they thrived and into the rotation is risky, to say the least, but it's a move that could pay huge dividends, especially if they find a way to structure their workload.

    Regardless, signing at least one more capable starter looks like a must.

    Prospect Yohander Mendez would likely be the next man up for a spot in the rotation as things stand.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Delino DeShields Jr. LHP Cole Hamels
    RF Shin-Soo Choo LHP Martin Perez
    SS Elvis AndrusRHP Doug Fister
    3B Adrian BeltreLHP Mike Minor
    LF Nomar Mazara RHP Matt Bush
    1B Joey GalloBullpen
    C Robinson Chirinos RHP Kevin Jepsen
    2B Rougned OdorRHP Chris Martin
    DH Willie Calhoun (R) RHP Tony Barnette
    Bench RHP Jose Leclerc
    C Juan Centeno LHP Jake Diekman
    IF/OF Jurickson Profar RHP Keone Kela
    IF/OF Ryan Rua LHP Alex Claudio
    OF Carlos Tocci (R) 

    DL: None

13. Minnesota Twins

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    Trevor Hildenberger
    Trevor HildenbergerCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The Minnesota Twins found their closer at the winter meetings, signing veteran Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $4.5 million deal, per the Minnesota Star Tribune.

    And the front office appears to have its sights set on a far bigger target.

    "While I think the Twins remain against offering five- or six-year contracts to free agent pitchers, I'm starting to think that they will make a run at [Yu] Darvish. A team official maintains that ownership is prepared to compete for top pitching talent," La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune wrote.

    Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios were a terrific one-two punch last season, Kyle Gibson is a capable middle-of-the-rotation arm and Adalberto Mejia looks like a long-term piece. There's a glaring need for a fifth starter of some sort, though, and adding a front-line arm would change the complexion of this team.

    Keep an eye on Rule 5 selection Tyler Kinley.

    The 26-year-old posted a 3.54 ERA with 17 saves and 12.2 K/9 between High-A and Double-A in the Marlins organization this past season and then dazzled in the Dominican Winter League with just four hits allowed and 30 strikeouts over 18.1 scoreless innings.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Brian DozierRHP Ervin Santana
    1B Joe MauerRHP Jose Berrios
    DH Miguel SanoRHP Kyle Gibson
    LF Eddie RosarioLHP Adalberto Mejia
    SS Jorge PolancoRHP Tyler Duffey
    RF Max KeplerBullpen
    CF Byron BuxtonRHP Tyler Kinley (R)
    3B Eduardo EscobarRHP John Curtiss (R)
    C Jason CastroRHP Alan Busenitz
    BenchRHP Ryan Pressly
    C Mitch Garver (R)LHP Taylor Rogers
    1B Kennys VargasRHP Trevor Hildenberger
    IF/OF Ehire AdrianzaRHP Fernando Rodney
    OF Robbie Grossman 

    DL: SP Michael Pineda, SP Phil Hughes, RP Trevor May

12. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Jimmy Nelson
    Jimmy NelsonChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The world is still waiting for the Milwaukee Brewers to make a splash.

    "We have spending power this offseason", GM David Stearns told Adam McCalvy of Wednesday. "I'm confident we are going to find places to use that effectively." 

    Adding a top-tier starting pitcher might be enough to vault them into the top 10 in these rankings with a good young core in place and fresh off a surprising 86-win season.

    Aside from upgrading the rotation, second base also needs to be addressed.

    Neil Walker was terrific after coming over from the Mets, with a 121 OPS+ and 12 extra-base hits in 38 games, and a reunion remains a strong possibility.

    After swinging a trade to acquire Anthony Swarzak at the deadline last season, adding another relief arm could also be on the to-do list now he's moved on in free agency.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Jonathan Villar RHP Chase Anderson
    1B Eric Thames RHP Zach Davies
    LF Ryan Braun LHP Brent Suter
    3B Travis Shaw RHP Brandon Woodruff
    RF Domingo Santana RHP Aaron Wilkerson (R)
    C Stephen Vogt Bullpen
    SS Orlando Arcia RHP Taylor Jungmann
    CF Keon Broxton LHP Tyler Webb
    Bench RHP Oliver Drake
    C Manny Pina RHP Jeremy Jeffress
    1B Jesus Aguilar LHP Josh Hader
    IF/OF Hernan Perez RHP Jacob Barnes
    IF/OF Eric Sogard RHP Corey Knebel
    OF Brett Phillips (R) 

    DL: SP Jimmy Nelson

11. Colorado Rockies

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    Jake McGee
    Jake McGeeRalph Freso/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Need proof that the Colorado Rockies are a team on the rise?

    Reliever Jake McGee spent two seasons in Colorado after coming over in a trade with the Rays and then chose to re-sign on a three-year, $27 million deal this winter.

    The list of pitchers who have chosen to re-sign with the Rockies in the primes of their careers is pretty short, and McGee's willingness to stay speaks to the perception of this team.

    Workhorse reliever Bryan Shaw was also added during the winter meetings, and the team is still trying hard to bring back closer Greg Holland. According to Heyman, they are waiting to hear back on a "nice" offer they have presented the 32-year-old, who saved 41 games last season.

    The closer spot is undoubtedly the biggest area of focus and could be the last remaining significant move the Rockies make if they are comfortable with some combination of Ryan McMahon, Ian Desmond, Raimel Tapia and David Dahl manning first base and left field.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Charlie Blackmon RHP Jon Gray
    2B DJ LeMahieu RHP Chad Bettis
    3B Nolan Arenado LHP Tyler Anderson
    RF Gerardo Parra RHP German Marquez
    SS Trevor Story LHP Kyle Freeland
    1B Ryan McMahon (R)Bullpen
    LF Ian Desmond RHP Antonio Senzatela
    C Chris IannettaLHP Chris Rusin
    Bench RHP Scott Oberg
    C Tony Wolters RHP Carlos Estevez
    IF/OF Pat ValaikaLHP Mike Dunn
    OF Raimel TapiaRHP Adam Ottavino
    OF Mike Tauchman (R)RHP Bryan Shaw
     LHP Jake McGee

    DL: None

10. Boston Red Sox

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    Dustin Pedroia
    Dustin PedroiaCharles Krupa/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    What will the Boston Red Sox do to counter the Yankees adding Giancarlo Stanton?

    Because make no mistake, the Yankees have become the clear favorites in the AL East after adding the reigning AL MVP to an already stacked lineup.

    Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald provided an interesting potential answer to that question:

    "A source at the winter meetings said that the Red Sox are engaged in talks with not only free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez but also free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer.

    "The intent is not to try to ensure signing one of the two elite hitters, said the source.

    "The goal is to try to sign both of them."

    That would make for a worthy retort and would bring some much-needed pop back to the Boston lineup.

    Meanwhile, the second base spot and No. 5 starter job are shaping up to be a pair of interesting camp battles. Dustin Pedroia will start the season on the disabled list following knee surgery, while Eduardo Rodriguez is also recovering from knee surgery and Steven Wright is facing domestic assault charges.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Xander Bogaerts LHP Chris Sale
    LF Andrew Benintendi LHP David Price
    RF Mookie Betts RHP Rick Porcello
    DH Hanley Ramirez LHP Drew Pomeranz
    3B Rafael Devers LHP Brian Johnson
    1B Sam Travis (R)Bullpen
    CF Jackie Bradley Jr.RHP Heath Hembree
    C Christian Vazquez LHP Robby Scott
    2B Esteban Quiroz (R) RHP Joe Kelly
    Bench RHP Carson Smith
    C Sandy Leon RHP Tyler Thornburg
    IF Deven Marrero RHP Matt Barnes
    IF/OF Brock Holt RHP Craig Kimbrel
    OF Bryce Brentz (R) 

    DL: 2B Dustin Pedroia, SP Eduardo Rodriguez

9. Los Angeles Angels

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    Shohei Ohtani
    Shohei OhtaniJae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Don't look now, but the Los Angeles Angels appear to be building a legitimate contender around Mike Trout.

    What an idea.

    After re-signing Justin Upton and then emerging as the surprise winners of the Ohtani sweepstakes in the days leading up to the winter meetings, they swung a deal to acquire Ian Kinsler on Thursday.

    That was followed by the addition of Zack Cozart, which the team announced on Friday afternoon. He'll presumably play third base, with Luis Valbuena moving into a utility role.

    The to-do list is still not complete, though.

    As good as Blake Parker was last season—8 SV, 15 HLD, 2.54 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 11.5 K/9—counting on him to close for a contending team would be playing with fire.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Ian KinslerRHP Garrett Richards
    CF Mike TroutRHP Shohei Ohtani (R)
    LF Justin UptonLHP Tyler Skaggs
    DH Albert PujolsRHP Matt Shoemaker
    RF Kole CalhounRHP Parker Bridwell
    3B Zack CozartBullpen
    SS Andrelton SimmonsRHP JC Ramirez
    1B C.J. CronRHP Blake Wood
    C Martin MaldonadoLHP Jose Alvarez
    BenchRHP Keynan Middleton
    C Carlos PerezRHP Jim Johnson
    IF Luis ValbuenaRHP Cam Bedrosian
    IF/OF Jefry MarteRHP Blake Parker
    OF Jared Hoying 

    DL: SP Alex Meyer

8. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Randal Grichuk
    Randal GrichukKamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    After missing out on Stanton, the St. Louis Cardinals might have wound up making an even better deal with the acquisition of Marcell Ozuna.

    Ozuna, 27, hit .312/.376/.548 with 30 doubles, 37 home runs and 124 RBI while also posting terrific defensive metrics (10 DRS) and winning Gold Glove and Silver Slugger honors en route to a 5.8 WAR.

    He's really good.

    By trading away Piscotty and Magneuris Sierra, they have begun to open up what was an outfield logjam. And there's still a good chance Randal Grichuk is playing elsewhere when the 2018 season begins.

    While the Ozuna deal was great, the front office still has work to do.

    Signing Miles Mikolas means they won't need to rely on Alex Reyes or Jack Flaherty in the early going, and the two-year, $11 million deal they gave Luke Gregerson looks like a bargain relative to the rest of the reliever market this offseason.

    However, the team is still lacking a proven closer, and the bullpen as a whole leaves a lot to be desired.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    3B Matt Carpenter RHP Carlos Martinez
    CF Tommy Pham RHP Michael Wacha
    LF Marcell Ozuna RHP Adam Wainwright
    CF Dexter Fowler RHP Luke Weaver
    SS Paul DeJong RHP Miles Mikolas
    C Yadier MolinaBullpen
    1B Jose Martinez LHP Ryan Sherriff (R)
    2B Kolten Wong RHP Sam Tuivailala
    Bench RHP John Brebbia
    C Carson Kelly (R) LHP Brett Cecil
    1B Luke Voit RHP Matt Bowman
    IF Greg GarciaLHP Tyler Lyons
    IF Jedd Gyorko RHP Luke Gregerson
    OF Randal Grichuk  

    DL: SP Alex Reyes

7. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Archie Bradley
    Archie BradleyRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The Arizona Diamondbacks used a 24-win improvement to go from fourth in the NL West standings to playing in the NL Wild Card Game.

    While there is always room to improve, they would have a fairly complete roster if the season started today.

    Fernando Rodney's departure in free agency likely means Archie Bradley will move into the closer's role after a breakout season pitching in the eighth.

    Brad Boxberger is also an option to close games if the team feels more comfortable leaving Bradley where he is. The 29-year-old was acquired in a trade with the Rays. He was an All-Star in 2015, when he saved 41 games.

    With Ketel Marte, Chris Owings, Brandon Drury and Nick Ahmed all vying for playing time at the middle infield spots, trading one of those guys to acquire more bullpen help might make sense.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    RF David Peralta RHP Zack Greinke
    CF A.J. Pollock LHP Robbie Ray
    1B Paul Goldschmidt RHP Taijuan Walker
    3B Jake Lamb RHP Zack Godley
    LF Yasmany Tomas LHP Patrick Corbin
    SS Ketel MarteBullpen
    2B Chris Owings RHP Albert Suarez
    C Jeff Mathis LHP T.J. McFarland
    Bench RHP Randall Delgado
    C John Ryan Murphy RHP Jimmie Sherfy (R)
    C/OF Chris Herrmann LHP Andrew Chafin
    IF/OF Daniel DescalsoRHP Brad Boxberger
    IF/OF Brandon Drury RHP Archie Bradley
    OF Socrates Brito (R) 

    DL: SP Shelby Miller

6. Cleveland Indians

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    Danny Salazar
    Danny SalazarOrlin Wagner/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The Cleveland Indians have a big decision to make regarding free-agent slugger Carlos Santana.

    While the team is still working to re-sign him, they are also exploring alternatives, with Logan Morrison one potential target, per Rosenthal.

    Meanwhile, the Mets are targeting Jason Kipnis to fill their need at second base, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

    A Kipnis trade would mean Jose Ramirez slides over to second base, Yandy Diaz takes over as the everyday third baseman and the DH spot opens up for whomever the team might wind up landing in free agency.

    There's also a decision to make in the rotation following a breakout season from Mike Clevinger, who went 12-6 with a 3.11 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 137 strikeouts in 121.1 innings.

    The Chicago Cubs and Indians have discussed a potential Danny Salazar trade, according to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Francisco Lindor RHP Corey Kluber
    2B Jason Kipnis RHP Carlos Carrasco
    3B Jose Ramirez RHP Trevor Bauer
    1B Edwin Encarnacion RHP Mike Clevinger
    LF Michael BrantleyRHP Josh Tomlin
    DH Yandy Diaz Bullpen
    RF Lonnie Chisenhall RHP Danny Salazar
    CF Bradley Zimmer RHP Zach McAllister
    C Roberto Perez RHP Dan Otero
    Bench LHP Tyler Olson
    C Yan Gomes RHP Nick Goody
    3B Giovanny Urshela LHP Andrew Miller
    IF Erik Gonzalez RHP Cody Allen
    OF Brandon Guyer  

    DL: SP Cody Anderson

5. Chicago Cubs

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    Mike Montgomery
    Mike MontgomeryJohn Minchillo/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The Chicago Cubs have already had a busy offseason, signing starter Tyler Chatwood to fill one of the vacant rotation spots and adding Dario Alvarez, Steve Cishek and Brandon Morrow to the bullpen.

    Is Mike Montgomery going to be the No. 5 starter?

    Is Morrow going to be the closer?

    These are the two big questions the team is still facing, and the answers will go a long way toward determining just how good they can be in 2018.

    Giving Albert Almora Jr. the everyday center field job and batting him leadoff seems like a no-brainer after a terrific season platooning with Jon Jay.

    The versatility of guys like Ian Happ and Ben Zobrist makes it easy for manager Joe Maddon to go with a four-man bench and eight-man bullpen.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Albert Almora Jr. LHP Jon Lester
    3B Kris Bryant RHP Kyle Hendricks
    1B Anthony Rizzo LHP Jose Quintana
    C Willson ContrerasRHP Tyler Chatwood
    LF Kyle Schwarber LHP Mike Montgomery
    SS Addison RussellBullpen
    RF Jason Heyward RHP Eddie Butler
    2B Javier BaezLHP Dario Alvarez
    Bench RHP Justin Grimm
    C Victor Caratini (R) LHP Justin Wilson
    IF Tommy La StellaRHP Steve Cishek
    IF/OF Ian Happ RHP Pedro Strop
    IF/OF Ben Zobrist RHP Carl Edwards Jr.
     RHP Brandon Morrow

    DL: SP Drew Smyly

4. New York Yankees

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    Chad Green
    Chad GreenAdam Hunger/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    While the blockbuster deal to acquire Stanton vaulted the Yankees to the top of the AL East pack, they are not quite ready to take over as baseball's No. 1 team.

    There is still a spot to fill in the rotation, as well as the matter of potentially having two rookies manning spots on the infield when the season starts.

    That bodes well for the future, but there could also be some growing pains.

    Moving Chad Green into the rotation is one option if no other starter is signed, and a reunion with CC Sabathia is still possible.

    We've also touched on the team's efforts to acquire Gerrit Cole from the Pirates. If that deal comes to fruition, it would be awfully hard not to call the Yankees the team to beat in 2018.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Brett Gardner RHP Luis Severino
    RF Aaron Judge RHP Masahiro Tanaka
    DH Giancarlo Stanton RHP Sonny Gray
    SS Didi Gregorius LHP Jordan Montgomery
    C Gary SanchezRHP Chad Green
    1B Greg BirdBullpen
    CF Aaron Hicks RHP Adam Warren
    3B Miguel Andujar (R) RHP Jonathan Holder
    2B Gleyber Torres (R)LHP Chasen Shreve
    BenchRHP Tommy Kahnle
    C Austin Romine RHP David Robertson
    1B/OF Tyler Austin RHP Dellin Betances
    IF Ronald Torreyes LHP Aroldis Chapman
    OF Jacoby Ellsbury  

    DL: None

3. Washington Nationals

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    Erick Fedde
    Erick FeddeNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    Will 2018 be the year the Washington Nationals finally advance beyond the NL Division Series?

    It's going to have to be if they want to win a title with Bryce Harper, as he's set to reach free agency next offseason, along with Daniel Murphy and Gio Gonzalez.

    Full seasons of Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson and the recently re-signed Brandon Kintzler would give the bullpen a huge head start on where it was at this time a year ago.

    A healthy Adam Eaton also plays like a major roster addition given he suited up for just 23 games last season.

    Even if the team is comfortable starting the season with Erick Fedde as the No. 5 starter until Joe Ross is healthy, adding some viable starting pitching depth is a must.

    Beyond that, it's simply a matter of this group playing up to its potential.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Trea Turner RHP Max Scherzer
    LF Adam Eaton RHP Stephen Strasburg
    RF Bryce Harper LHP Gio Gonzalez
    1B Ryan Zimmerman RHP Tanner Roark
    2B Daniel Murphy RHP Erick Fedde (R)
    3B Anthony Rendon Bullpen
    C Matt Wieters RHP A.J. Cole
    CF Michael Taylor LHP Matt Grace
    Bench RHP Shawn Kelley
    C Pedro Severino LHP Enny Romero
    1B/OF Jose Marmolejos (R) RHP Ryan Madson
    IF Adrian Sanchez RHP Brandon Kintzler
    IF/OF Wilmer Difo LHP Sean Doolittle
    OF Brian Goodwin 

    DL: SP Joe Ross

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Hyun-Jin Ryu
    Hyun-Jin RyuDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    The Los Angeles Dodgers don't necessarily need to do anything major this offseason to once again be considered one of the favorites to win the World Series.

    Some bullpen help following Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson's departures looks like the biggest need.

    Using Walker Buehler as a reliever is an intriguing option, but the club would likely prefer to continue his development into a potential front-line starter.

    The back of the starting rotation also needs to be sorted out.

    Hyun-Jin Ryu, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy are owed a combined $37 million in 2018, and there's only one open spot in the rotation for them to fill. Julio Urias' return could wind up making all three of them expendable.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Chris Taylor LHP Clayton Kershaw
    SS Corey Seager LHP Rich Hill
    3B Justin Turner RHP Kenta Maeda
    LF Cody Bellinger LHP Alex Wood
    RF Yasiel Puig LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu
    1B Adrian GonzalezBullpen
    C Austin Barnes LHP Scott Kazmir
    2B Logan Forsythe RHP Brandon McCarthy
    Bench LHP Luis Avilan
    C Yasmani Grandal RHP Josh Fields
    IF Charlie Culberson LHP Tony Cingrani
    IF/OF Kike Hernandez RHP Pedro Baez
    OF Joc Pederson RHP Kenley Jansen
    OF Trayce Thompson 

    DL: SP Julio Urias

1. Houston Astros

30 of 30

    Derek Fisher
    Derek FisherChris Szagola/Associated Press

    Offseason Overview

    There's no reason to knock the defending champions from atop these power rankings.

    With a full season of Justin Verlander and healthy seasons from Dallas Keuchel (23 GS) and Lance McCullers (22 GS), this starting rotation will have a chance to be the best in baseball.

    Brad Peacock went 13-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 132 innings, and he's projected to be the No. 5 starter.

    Carlos Beltran's retirement creates an opening in the starting lineup, and the leading candidates to fill it will be Jake Marisnick and Derek Fisher. Regardless, Marwin Gonzalez will continue serving in a super-utility role, so there won't be a set lineup.

    Signing relievers Joe Smith and Hector Rondon is a good start to shoring up the bullpen, but the team could use at least one more proven bullpen arm.

    Anthony Gose, who once ranked as the No. 39 prospect in baseball as an outfielder, is now a pitcher, and the Astros grabbed him in the Rule 5 draft. He's an interesting option to potentially fill the need for a lefty reliever.


    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Dec. 14)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF George SpringerRHP Justin Verlander
    3B Alex BregmanLHP Dallas Keuchel
    2B Jose AltuveRHP Charlie Morton
    SS Carlos CorreaRHP Lance McCullers Jr. 
    DH Marwin GonzalezRHP Brad Peacock
    1B Yuli GurrielBullpen
    RF Josh ReddickRHP Collin McHugh
    C Brian McCannLHP Tony Sipp
    LF Derek FisherRHP Hector Rondon
    BenchRHP Joe Musgrove
    C Evan GattisRHP Will Harris
    IF Tyler WhiteRHP Joe Smith
    OF Jake MarisnickRHP Chris Devenski
      RHP Ken Giles

    DL: RP Jandel Gustave


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.