Everyone from fans and sabermetricians to teammates and general managers judge baseball players on their April-to-October results, but that forgets the bleakness of a wintry offseason.

While some might choose to spend the time off maniacally shoving an arm into a barrel of rice, a la Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan, these eight players made headlines during the winter and early spring for more significant reasons.

And no, we’re not referring to Alex Rodriguez—he of the two home runs and .905 OPS through 13 spring games—winning the job of New York Yankees’ full-time designated hitter.

Instead, these eight players have either put in major work during the offseason in a variety of ways, or they’re tearing up spring training and making an impact with the regular season looming.

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