Frozen hot stove season puts surprising teams in play for top free agents

Could free agents Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas both be affordable, win-now options for teams on the edge of contending? Jim Mone/AP Photo

Inaction has ruled Major League Baseball this winter. Many of the top free agents remain unsigned, as baseball's best teams need little help to repeat at the top of their divisions. While most of the divisions have clear favorites, both leagues' wild-card races are relatively wide open. There are likely teams sitting on the fence right now wondering whether they can make a run in 2018. If free-agent prices are falling below expectations, there are bargains to be struck that could have huge ramifications in the standings this year.

Free agency is always dicey and always expensive, but if you run a team currently on the edge of contention, there are some potentially high-impact free agents available -- relative to the cost it might take to sign them -- that could solidify your stance as a contender. If you run a team in the middle of a rebuild and you think 2019 is the beginning of your window to compete, hitting on a few moves right now might open that window this season.

If 2018 is a season of hope in which, if things go right, your team could be a contender, these are the players to target.