Baseball's winter meetings are far from the only time to make trades and signings, but like turkey on Thanksgiving Day, it's the best time to get the choice portions rather than waiting for the leftovers. The signing of Shohei Ohtani by the Los Angeles Angels and the earth-shattering acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton by the New York Yankees makes this even more urgent for some teams, with two possibilities off the table and two contending teams getting stronger.
The rather thin free-agent market, a common sight in recent years, makes urgency an imperative for the teams that are trying to "go for it" in 2018. Have the dough for a genuine-star starting pitcher? Once Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta (and maybe Alex Cobb) sign, that's it. There's no shopping elsewhere, no free-agent store that has a couple of extra Darvishes hiding in the back room, and no fat guy in a red suit is going to bring you one in exchange for milk and cookies.
The teams that should be the most motivated to go all-out for next season generally fall into two categories: those with the largest increase in playoff odds by adding X number of wins and those teams facing a shrinking window. Below are my picks for which teams have the most to lose through inaction this week. Included is their playoff probability if they make moves that add up to five additional projected wins to their record, along with how much those five added wins boost their playoff odds.