Every team enters the offseason with their own unique needs to fill, yet only some will be able to accomplish their winter goals. Let's delegate on their behalf and find a player each club should sign - with no overlap - starting with the American League.
Baltimore Orioles, Brian Dozier: The rebuilding Orioles clearly aren't going to be swimming in the deep end this winter. In that vein, Dozier represents a perfect fit as a veteran with some pop who won't be too expensive. Dozier is far from the Silver Slugger version of himself while with the Twins, and he ultimately lost his starting job with the Nationals in 2019, but he still mashed 20 homers for the world champions. Dozier brings a ring and experience to a young team that could benefit from his leadership, while the club gives him an everyday job and plenty of chances to rebuild his value - both for his own financial future and for the Orioles to potentially trade him midseason for assets.
Boston Red Sox, Jonathan Schoop: Even though Dustin Pedroia says he's going to play in 2020, the extent of his availability remains to be seen, and realistically, you can't expect much from a player who's had five knee surgeries and has barely played in two seasons. So, Boston needs a second baseman. The field is thin, but Schoop has pop - 101 home runs and a .464 slugging percentage over the last four seasons - and won't break the bank. Despite being one of baseball's wealthiest teams, the Red Sox are apparently looking to keep costs down, so Schoop fills a need without hamstringing their self-imposed budget. Extending Mookie Betts remains the top priority - at least until he's traded.
Chicago White Sox, Nicholas Castellanos: The White Sox outfield will definitely include Eloy Jimenez, and Luis Robert (who can play center) will be making the jump at some point. Castellanos is a more potent bat than Leury Garcia, and far more consistent than Daniel Palka. While his defense leaves a lot to be desired, Castellanos has hit .294/.346/.513 with 50 home runs, 104 doubles, and eight triples over his last two seasons (308 games). By signing Castellanos, Chicago can move Garcia into a super-utility role and then swing a trade for a catcher to work alongside James McCann. It might not be perfect, but the Central is winnable if the White Sox can improve their .728 OPS (24th in MLB) and 93 wRC+ (18th).
Cleveland Indians, Corey Dickerson: Whether it's true or not, Cleveland could be cash-strapped. Last offseason, they stood mostly pat and avoided spending any money. Now, there are rumblings that star shortstop Francisco Lindor could be traded. You can't expect Cleveland to be big spenders, so projecting them to be in on any of the top tier free agents is pointless. Dickerson would be fairly cost-effective and he's proven he can hang when he's healthy. He's turned into a bit of a journeyman, but he's maintained a .828 OPS with 52 home runs and 96 doubles over his last three seasons. Dickerson has a high enough floor that he could be dangled on the trade market if he plays above expectations.
Detroit Tigers, Rick Porcello: Porcello needs to choose where he'll rebuild his value carefully. He'll have plenty of opportunities from non-contenders, but why take a risk with, say, the Blue Jays in the AL East? Returning to Detroit, where he spent the first six years of his career and helped lead the Tigers to three playoff appearances and a pennant in 2012 is his best choice. The Tigers offer Porcello the comfortable home confines of Comerica Park and a weaker slate of divisional opponents to try and feast on during his comeback. There's also a natural fit for him in a rotation that was putrid last season and is desperate for any kind of innings-eater behind Matthew Boyd. Porcello was bad in 2019, arguably the worst season of his career, but he did stay healthy. A one-year reunion with low guaranteed money and plenty of incentives could have great benefits for both sides.
Houston Astros, Felix Hernandez: Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Charlie Morton each saw improvements to their game immediately upon arriving in Houston, so why not take a flier and try to fix one of the most storied pitchers of this generation? King Felix has looked progressively cooked over four seasons, and there's a chance he's not salvageable. But, the Astros are in a position to gamble because of their overall depth. Verlander and Zack Greinke are still on the roster, Jose Urquidy and Josh James can get play in the rotation if needed, and Forrest Whitley should finally make the jump. If Hernandez flops, he's an easy cut. However, Hernandez regaining lost power after switching teams for the first time would be kind of poetic. Plus, playing for the Astros would almost guarantee his first-ever trip to the postseason.
Kansas City Royals, Brandon Kintzler: Kintzler isn't necessarily the exact player the Royals should target, but represents the type of player they should be looking to add this winter. The club should stock up on relievers in free agency and flip them to contenders at the trade deadline. It's a strategy the club is familiar with, having just traded Jake Diekman at last year's deadline after signing him months prior. They also took chances on Drew Storen and Brad Boxberger, with worse results.
Los Angeles Angels, Gerrit Cole: It's too perfect. The Angels are desperate to add frontline pitching in an effort to push Mike Trout and company back to postseason glory after missing the cut for four straight seasons, and no pitcher on the open market can have an immediate impact like Cole. The Angels have rarely shied away from spending money, and although Los Angeles has more than one area of need, the top of the rotation is in dire need of help.
Minnesota Twins, Zack Wheeler: Wheeler is a big splash without being a backbreaker for a small-market club. The Twins would benefit by adding another sturdy arm to join Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi in the rotation, and Wheeler at least appears to be over his lingering injuries. He threw 195 1/3 innings in 2019 and 182 1/3 the year before. He's entering his age-30 season, but he doesn't have a ton of miles on his arm. With Odorizzi's future beyond 2020 up in the air, Wheeler could serve as his replacement, with young arms Brusdar Graterol and Jordan Balazovic rising through the ranks.
New York Yankees, Hyun-Jin Ryu: The Yankees need starting pitching, and Ryu may be the best fit among free-agent starters looking to conquer Yankee Stadium. His 50.4% ground-ball rate was ninth among qualified pitchers and only three hurlers allowed fewer home runs per nine innings. Stephen Strasburg posted a slightly better ground-ball rate, but he'll come with draft pick compensation and a higher price tag. The Yankees can certainly afford it, and adding Ryu would leave the door open for other high-profile moves (whether it be through signings or a big trade). Plus, Ryu was the best pitcher in baseball for a long stretch in 2019 and still finished in the top three for NL Cy Young voting thanks to a 2.32 ERA over 182 2/3 innings.
Oakland Athletics, Drew Pomeranz: The A's are a well-oiled machine. The lineup is built to last, and they have tons of young pitching to coincide with the remaining veterans in the rotation. The back end of the bullpen (Liam Hendriks, Blake Treinen, Lou Trivino, etc.) is among baseball's best, and Pomeranz would be an outstanding addition after reinventing himself as a shutdown reliever in 2019. Following a deadline deal to the Brewers, Pomeranz posted a 2.39 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 45 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings (15.4 K/9). A return to Oakland would be mutually beneficial, and he likely won't command a hefty price tag compared to other luminous free agents.
Seattle Mariners, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo: This has less to do with the Mariners' history of pursuing players as they're posted from Japan, and more to do with Seattle's need to put something worth watching on the field. Felix Hernandez is gone, and a new era needs to be properly jump-started. Tsutsugo's a left fielder/first baseman who has mashed 139 home runs over his last four seasons. The lineup is already lefty dominant, but general manager Jerry Dipoto can be counted on to work the trade market aggressively (he was swinging deals from a hospital bed last year, after all).
Tampa Bay Rays, Edwin Encarnacion: The Rays had a generally effective offense in 2019, but they could benefit from adding a power bat. Tampa's 217 home runs last season ranked 21st in the majors. By adding Encarnacion's 34 bombs, they would have jumped to seventh. Obviously, that's not exactly how that works, but he had more homers than any Rays player last season and he appeared in only 109 games. He's also hit at least 32 home runs in each of the last eight seasons. Encarnacion is reaching Nelson Cruz levels of consistency into his late 30s. Since 2012, no one has hit more than Encarnacion's 297 round-trippers. Cruz is second at 295.
Texas Rangers, Anthony Rendon: The Rangers are opening a new stadium, and Rendon is a native Texan. That's the narrative you'll see this offseason. Don't expect him to accept a hometown discount, though - he'll command top dollar. But that shouldn't scare the Rangers off after the club's third basemen posted a 77 wRC+ in 2019, better than only the Pirates and Tigers. And yet, they were in the wild-card race longer than anyone expected. Rendon won't immediately turn Texas into a playoff team, but he can be the cornerstone of future postseason runs in a way Adrian Beltre was. This roster needs plenty of work, but adding his bat as he surges through his prime years is a great start. With Shin-Soo Choo coming off the books after next season, that will open up more funds to further bolster the team. Consider it a work in progress, with Rendon serving as step one.
Toronto Blue Jays, Dallas Keuchel: This year, Keuchel won't cost his signing team a compensation pick if he agrees to a deal before the draft, so expect him to open the season on an actual team. The Blue Jays have shown interest in the southpaw in the past, and his ground-ball tendencies would play well at Rogers Centre. Toronto will need to build a team around its young core, and adding a veteran hurler with a resume as sterling as Keuchel's should go a long way.