1. New York Mets
Who would say no to the Mets, at this point?
For one thing, they “lost out” to the Dodgers in the Trevor Bauer chase last offseason, meaning LA’s current No. 1 burden is their direct gain.
For another thing … literally everything else.
Stability in the dugout? Finally, the Mets have it with the hiring of Buck Showalter.
Depth around the diamond? Mark Canha, Starling Marte, and Eduardo Escobar will help there.
Rotation? It gets a little thin at the back, but there’s no arguing with a healthy Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. That “back” portion is where Kershaw comes in.
Deep pockets? We had our fun last offseason when Steve Cohen lost out on JT Realmuto and George Springer, but there’s no doubting his spending power at this point. The Mets aren’t worry-free contenders, but there should no longer be any doubt their owner has the capacity — and the network — to go the extra mile. New York’s National League team is now a luxury destination, whether baseball fans were ready for it or not, and they’re surely not done splurging.
Los Angeles certainly still has the upper hand here, and the Rangers will probably be first in line waiting if talks break down. But calling this a two-horse race ignores several intriguing possibilities sprinkled throughout the game, all of them contenders.