2) NY Mets competitor: San Diego Padres
As if the San Diego Padres haven't been all in on what seems like every major star over the last few seasons, they have recently made it known publicly they will be going all in on Shohei Ohtani next winter. The Padres are an interesting case for the simple fact that current third baseman Manny Machado is expected to opt out of his current contract next offseason and test the market, which could lead the Padres to allocate those funds to Ohtani.
The Padres haven't been afraid recently to act like a big-market club as they try to stay neck and neck with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. As evidence by the 11-year $280 million deal they gave Xander Bogaerts this winter as well as them putting the majority of their top prospects in a deal for Juan Soto and Josh Bell at the Trade Deadline next winter.
Fellow countryman and starting pitcher Yu Darvish is also scheduled to be a free agent next winter, and I'm sure it would be an appealing option for both Darvish and Ohtani to anchor the top of the Padres rotation in 2024. But a huge question that remains for the Padres is Juan Soto's impending free agency after the 2024 season. Will they be able to afford two players that may command the two biggest contracts in baseball history?