That they are purportedly losing big money is the x factor. But the best possible scenario would be that all teams are losing money, and so wary of the unknowns (both gate revenue in 2021 and labor war in 2022) that the FA market isn't as strong as players hope, even given the Betts contract.
There's enough money coming off the books (Arrieta + Robertson) to accomodate a starting pitcher, a Didi QO and a JT contract (given he and Didi already take up a chunk of payroll now) but it would once again come at the expense of the bullpen without some creativity or non-tenders (Velasquez?) or willingness to pay the tax.
I think we'll probably trade for a starting pitcher, in addition to a free agent. Which one of those is the higher level guy depends on Howard's prognosis. But we might be able to move Segura or even Cutch in a deal for a starting pitcher with a similar contract, or consider trading Haseley or Kingery if it's for someone cheaper/better.
Absolutely we shouldn't let Didi go for nothing (I assume JT is a given) and QOs also depress the market. We also shouldn't be signing any QO FAs ourselves, which is another reason keeping JT is so important (because if we lose him they'll need offense and will want to make a splash. It's a thin class though).