The Padres getting worse only helps the SF Giants' playoff chances
The easiest way to illustrate this idea is with how the move impacts the division rival Padres. Unfortunately for San Diego, the 2023 season went sideways for them in a big way. Despite a run differential of +104 last season and a roster full of stars, some crummy luck and an inconsistent offense resulted in the Padres posting just an 82-80 record and being out of the playoff picture.
San Diego's situation has only gotten worse this offseason as they are set to lose Blake Snell, Josh Hader, Michael Wacha, and Seth Lugo in free agency. However, that Padres offense had enough talent in their lineup to at least make a strong run at a NL wild card slot in 2024.
However, the Padres' outlook looks a lot more murky with Soto headed out of town. In addition to having to basically rebuild most of their rotation with limited resources, San Diego is losing one of the best offensive players in baseball who put up a 155 wRC+ in 2023.
The most likely outcome is that the Padres take a big step back next season as they re-evaluate their plans and finances. They will remain dangerous as Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado still exist, but are also much less likely to compete for the playoff spots that the Giants are going to be looking to occupy in 2024.