How these 5 teams can still win the offseason

Cards, Brewers among clubs a move or two away from winter dominance

February 18th, 2018

It would seem the Astros have already won the offseason. When the World Series winner gets better, that has to be the automatic call. In a typical offseason, we would have already shipped the big shiny trophy to Astros GM Jeff Luhnow.

Here's a preliminary ranking of the offseason winners:

1. Astros

2. Yankees

3. Angels

4. Brewers

5. Cardinals

Honorable mention: Twins, Mets, Blue Jays, Padres, Athletics, Rockies

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But wait, there's still time. Polls remain open. Even with (Padres) and (Cubs) off the market, the list of unsigned free agents includes a bunch of difference-makers, including starters , and Alex Cobb, third baseman Mike Moustakas, first baseman and closer Greg Holland.

Hot Stove Tracker

Let's run down our list, offer a modest proposal or two and check out what the final standings could look like:

Cardinals

Modest proposal:Sign Holland and Moustakas.

Bottom line: Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has rebuilt his team since Opening Day 2017, and the offseason additions of left fielder , starting pitcher and reliever Luke Gregerson have been nice finishing touches.

Even if they don't catch the Cubs in the NL Central, the Cardinals are positioned to return to the postseason. But they could make up more ground on the Cubs with another addition or two.

Brewers

Modest proposal: Sign Arrieta, trade for Rays right-hander Chris Archer.

Bottom line: The Brewers' solid offseason has included the additions of outfielders and , but they still could use help in the rotation, and while signing to a Minor League contract could pay off, Arrieta and Archer could vault Milwaukee into the top spot.

Twins

Modest proposal: Sign Lynn.

Bottom line: The Twins have already had a great offseason with the trade for right-hander Jake Odorizzi to go with the earlier additions of relievers and and the signing of right-hander . But with ace sidelined until May or June because of a finger injury and with their young starters still figuring things out, the Twins could go a long way toward flat-out winning the offseason with one more starting pitcher.

Yankees

Modest proposal: Sign either Moustakas or one of the available starting pitchers.

Bottom line: The Yankees have been quiet since acquiring reigning National League MVP in December, and that should worry the rest of baseball. GM Brian Cashman would like to trade center fielder to free up payroll, and don't discount his ability to make one more acquisition and push the Astros from the top spot.

Angels

Modest proposal: Sign a starting pitcher.

Bottom line: Angels GM Billy Eppler has had a huge offseason already with the additions of , and Zack Cozart and the re-signing of . If the Angels knew starters , , and could get through the season healthy, they'd be ready to roll. But all of those pitchers have had health issues in recent seasons, so a veteran addition to the rotation would help the Angels make up more ground on the Astros in the American League West and further position them for a postseason run.