There is still time for teams to make upgrades to their roster, which could certainly change this list, but Spring Training is around the corner and teams have made the bulk of their roster moves heading into the 2017 season. Here are the eight biggest winners of the offseason so far.
8. Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves won't be in the conversation as a playoff team heading into 2017, but they've had a positive offseason by fixing their needs. They needed rotation help and in turn they added three veterans (Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey and Jaime Garcia) to solidify their pitching staff. On top of that, they might have signed the biggest bargain on the market in Sean Rodriguez, and they gave Ender Inciarte a club-friendly contract extension. This team finished 20-10 to end the 2016 season, so maybe they aren't far off from contending in the National League, and these offseason moves only improved their chances.
7. Houston Astros
While they still could use some help in the starting rotation, the Houston Astros made a high-powered offense even more dangerous. They added Brian McCann, Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran, all three of which are upgrades at their respective positions. They are linked to Jose Quintana of the White Sox, which is exactly the kind of pitcher they need to add to their rotation. If they can swing a deal for the All-Star lefty, their offseason would be complete.
6. St. Louis Cardinals
In an attempt to contend with the Chicago Cubs next year, the St. Louis Cardinals have been active in the free agent market, highlighted by signing former Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler to a long-term deal. They also bolstered their bullpen by signing left-hander Brett Cecil to a multi-year deal. The Cardinals certainly underachieved last year, but these moves combined with better help should put them back in the NL race.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers
It's simple: the Los Angeles Dodgers re-signed their top three free agents (Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Rich Hill), keeping them as one of the favorites in the National League heading into 2017. They are also the favorites to land Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, which would only make their offseason grade even higher.
4. Chicago Cubs
The defending World Series champs lost arguably the best closer in the sport, Aroldis Chapman, through free agency, but they replaced him by acquiring Wade Davis from Kansas City, who is excellent in his own right. They didn't have many needs entering the offseason, but they plugged the hole left by Chapman with another All-Star.
3. Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are the latest team who have decided to tear it down, and boy did they get off to a good start. They traded the face of their franchise and staff ace, Chris Sale, to the Boston Red Sox for the best prospect in the sport, Yoan Moncada. They didn't stop there and sent outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals for the top pitching prospect in the sport, Lucas Giolito. They still have plenty of other moves they can make to continue the rebuild, but kudos to them for going in a specific direction.
2. Boston Red Sox
The beneficiary of the White Sox fire sale was the Boston Red Sox, who acquired one of the best pitchers in the sport. They gave up premier young talent, but nobody from their major league roster which is a huge plus. On top of the blockbuster move, Boston made some marginal moves that could pay huge dividends. Reliever Tyler Thornburg, who they got from Milwaukee, adds more firepower in the bullpen, and Mitch Moreland gives them a much-needed power bat from the left side.
1. Cleveland Indians
The AL champion Cleveland Indians came out of nowhere and signed the best offensive player on the market, Edwin Encarnacion, to a reasonable three-year, $60 million deal. For the first time in a long time the Indians were big free agent spenders, and the Encarnacion signing only solidifies them as the favorites in the American League.