Sometime soon, one team is going to be the talk of the industry. They'll hold a press conference, then another. They'll introduce one star, then another. They'll commit millions, then millions more on top of that. We'll write about how they're going to score one thousand runs or win 100 games or have the best rotation we've seen in years. Whether it's the Rangers or Brewers or Cubs or another team, in a few weeks we'll be crowning the offseason's champion -- the team that wins the winter.
How important is winning the winter? Ask the Angels. They committed more than $300 million to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson a year ago, and actually lost ground in the AL West, finishing third to the A's and Rangers, winning three more games in 2012 than they did in their second-place season of 2011.
The Angels' shared the winter crown with the Marlins, who made three splashy free-agent signings -- Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell -- and added a famous manager in Ozzie Guillen, only to finish last in the NL East for the second year in a row, losing three more games than they did in 2011.