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The offseason isn't over yet, but we've already seen lots of transactions likely to impact 2017

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets celebrates as he heads for the dugout after he hit grand slam in the third inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on April 29, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) (Elsa/Getty Images)

It's a new year, which can only mean one thing: A new baseball season is rapidly approaching. In roughly six weeks, pitchers and catchers will report to Major League Spring Training camps in Florida and Arizona. Baseball's return is nigh and, as always, it will culminate next fall with the crowning of a new World Series champion.
Baseball front offices have been working tirelessly all offseason long to make sure their team is the one that will be bring home the Commissioner's Trophy this year. Although their work isn't quite done yet, it's worth taking a moment to look at the biggest transactions of the offseason thus far and break down which ones will have the biggest impact on the 2017 season.
In no particular order, here are the six transactions most likely to have a major impact on this year in baseball:
Chris Sale to Boston
After two straight last-place finishes, the Red Sox returned to the top of the AL East in 2016 and it looks like they have every intention of repeating the feat in 2017. Boston added one of the best pitchers in the Majors in a December trade with the White Sox. Although the acquisition wasn't cheap -- Boston sent four prospects to Chicago, including top prospects Yoán Moncada and Michael Kopech -- Sale is just 28 years old and under contract through the 2019 season.
With a lineup anchored by young stars Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. and a rotation headed by Sale, David Price and 2016 Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, the Red Sox are poised to stay competitive in 2017 and beyond. Plus, they'll get to watch Sale do things like this:

Yoenis Céspedes remains a Met
The Mets have one of the most exciting young rotations in baseball, but their offense is a bit less heralded. At the end of the season, the team stood to lose its best position player when Cespedes became a free agent, but, fortunately, they re-signed him to a four-year deal just after Thanksgiving.
No doubt, Mets fans hope that the return of Cespedes will generate many more exciting celebrations like this:

But the team that finished ahead of the Mets in the division last summer is doing its part to make the Mets' path back to the postseason difficult...
Adam Eaton to Washington ... and Trea Turner to shortstop
Last season, the Nationals finished with the second-best record in the National League, and with just one move this winter, they put themselves in a strong position to continue building upon that success in 2017.
A Winter Meetings trade with the White Sox sent Adam Eaton (and his family) to Washington, where he will become the newest center fielder -- a marked improvement upon their 2016 Opening Day center fielder, Ben Revere, who put up a disappointing, injury-riddled season. Perhaps the best part of this acquisition, though, is that it allows last year's runner-up in NL Rookie of the Year voting, Trea Turner, to move back to his natural position: Shortstop.

Turner was simply tremendous last year in the half-season he spent with the Nationals. He posted a .342 average, .937 OPS and 33 steals in 39 attempts and is now in a strong position to provide an upgrade over the team's shortstop last summer, Danny Espinosa. The loss of young pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López and Dane Dunning in the trade may hurt the Nationals one day, but the trade pulled off the goal of strengthening the team for 2017.
Edwin Encarnacion to the Indians
Riding high on their first pennant in nearly 20 years, Cleveland demonstrated a dedication to winning again in 2017 by bringing in one of the top free agent position players on the market: Edwin Encarnacion.
Encarnacion, who has received MVP votes in four of the last five seasons, will replace current free-agent Mike Napoli on the Indians roster. As if that weren't enough, he'll presumably bring his signature Edwing home run trot to Cleveland:

And maybe a parrot, too?
Carlos Beltrán (and friends) to Houston
The 2016 season was a disappointing one for the Astros, and so far this winter, they've been doing their best to ensure that the story of their 2017 season is a happier one.
Over the span of three weeks, they strengthened their catching position and solidified their outfield. First, they acquired catcher Brian McCann from the Yankees and signed free agent outfielder Josh Reddick. Then, in December, they brought back the 2004 team's postseason hero, Carlos Beltran. Although Beltran will turn 40 this season, he shows no signs of slowing down, with 33 homers and an .850 OPS this past summer. As David Ortizrecently showed, 40-year-olds can still get it done at the plate.
The Dodgers are keeping the band together
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Dodgers have won four consecutive NL West titles, but entered this season faced with the potential of losing three of their key players: closer Kenley Jansen, third baseman Justin Turner and starting pitcher Rich Hill. Ultimately they took the simplest route to replacing them and re-signed all three.

Will it be enough to help the team to a five-peat? We'll find out soon enough!