But in 2021 Cutch will still be the starting LF potentially, Segura will still be the starting 2B potentially, and we'll need a SS (or 2B) again if Kingery plays CF. Maybe Klentak can offload one of those salaries (or afford to carry one of them as a fancy bench piece) but they'll probably need to add another salary, whether in trade or free agency (and will be able to, with Arrieta and Didi coming off the books).
But we're talking about this year. $15 million+ is pretty much the price of a really good everyday major league player if you can't develop them yourself, and we're already paying three guys just that (as well as Harper of course). The question is are they the right guys?
If the Phillies could still do it - never mind that both the CBT and the state of the farm says otherwise - a Bryant, Arenado or Betts would certainly move the needle, but only from wild card to NL East contender, not a team that's certain to make noise in the NLCS and World Series (though the Nats were not certain to do that last year either).
I feel like those guys might still get MIddleton's attention though. The trade price on Betts isn't going to be high (complicated by the Sox wanting to include Price maybe). Arenado is tricky because he has an opt-out on the one hand and a one of $ on the other. Bryant's the easy one really.
We can't keep trading the future (and also need to sign JT) but if the Dodgers get Betts and Bryant goes to an NL East team we're not likely to be relevant. Our best hope is probably that these deals don't get done, and we can be players at the deadline.