The Cubs have a target on their back.
They enter 2016 as the odds-on favorite to win the World Series and manager Joe Maddon will have them embracing the expectations.
The Cubs committed more than $275 million to free agents this winter, taking the baseball world by storm with the Jason Heyward signing while also bolstering the pitching staff by bringing Trevor Cahill back and acquiring John Lackey and Adam Warren.
The Cubs also said goodbye to former franchise icon Starlin Castro to make room for free agent Ben Zobrist, shipping the 25-year-old shortstop to the New York Yankees.
With another month-and-a-half until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, there is still plenty of time for the Cubs to make more moves, with trade rumors swirling around Jorge Soler and the possibility of the Cubs adding another top-of-the-rotation arm.
But as it stands right now, the Cubs already look like an improved team entering 2016.
As the new year approaches, let's take a look how the rest of the National League Central is shaping up:
Manager: Bryan Price (Record w/Reds: 140-184)
2015 record: 64-98
New additions: OF Scott Schebler, OF Jake Cave, RP Blake Wood, RP Caleb Cotham, RP Chris O'Grady
Key losses: 3B Todd Frazier, RP Aroldis Chapman, C Brayan Pena, SP Mike Leake, OF Jason Bourgeois, 2B/OF Skip Schumaker, RP Burke Badenhop
X-Factor: Jay Bruce
Biggest question: Will they lose 100 games?
1. Billy Hamilton - CF
2. Joey Votto - 1B
3. Brandon Phillips - 2B
4. Jay Bruce - RF
5. Devin Mesoraco - C
6. Zack Cozart - SS
7. Eugenio Suarez - 3B
8. Scott Schebler - LF
1. Anthony Desclafani
2. Raisel Iglesias
3. Brandon Finnegan
4. Michael Lorenzen
5. John Lamb
DL - Homer Bailey
The Reds are in full blown rebuild mode. If this were the NFL or NBA, it'd be clear they're tanking for the No. 1 overall pick. But the problem is, it's simply not that easy to turn around a Major League Baseball franchise (even if Theo Epstein makes it look like a cakewalk).
The Reds have no hope for 2015 and any questions of that flew out the window when they traded away Frazier and Chapman in a two-week span earlier this month. The Cubs have to feel fortunate that they won't have to face Frazier or Chapman 19 times a year anymore and the rest of the NL Central should easily have their way with this Cincinnati team. The Reds also didn't acquire any major pieces in either trade that will help them in 2016, with the exception of reliever Caleb Cotham, who already has some big-league experience and can be a nice option in the bullpen.
[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]
By the time August comes along, the Reds may very well have parted ways with Phillips and Bruce, too. Anybody that doesn't have a long-term future in Cincinnati will be up for grabs. The only reason Votto will stick around is because - despite how productive he is - not many teams will want to take on a deal with almost $200 million remaining on it in a trade.
Apart from more trades, the only drama left for the Reds in 2016 is whether or not they lose 100 games.
On the positive side, the Reds are assembling a nice, young stable of potential rotation arms. DeSclafani (25), Iglesias (26), Finnegan (22) and Lorenzen (24) and Lamb (25) have all had varying levels of big-league success and don't forget about Bailey, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and could be ready by May.