3) NY Mets could battle the Padres to sign Shohei Ohtani
You can’t talk about the Mets and free agency without mentioning Shohei Ohtani. Potentially the highest priced free agent of all time, he is far more likely to enter the pool than Nola or Urias. He may first end up traded, but the Mets and Padres should get their crack at him in free agency.
A $500 million deal isn’t out of the question. The Mets should be the favorite over the Padres in this case simply because of how much San Diego is already paying Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. The Mets have a lot of high contracts that will expire sooner than later. Other than Francisco Lindor, nobody is on a $200+ million deal. Ohtani can change this.
Any commitment by the Padres to Ohtani could signal the end of Juan Soto’s stay in San Diego. He has yet to get his taste of the extension pie. Well on his way toward a $400+ million deal, he’s the guy that could end up on the roster of whichever team doesn’t sign Ohtani. He could end up with the Mets, stay with the Padres, or even flee for the Dodgers. Let’s not rule out the San Francisco Giants either. MLB is a game of musical chairs in the offseason when it comes to these monster free agents.
The Mets are no strangers to losing free agent battles. It happens even when there’s a blank check involved. Will they end up beating out the Padres in these potential wars? San Diego already digging their heels in and retaining players should give the Mets a slight advantage at landing whoever they make their top target.