2. The Mets couldn't offer a package that would have enticed San Diego
The Padres made it clear to teams interested in acquiring Soto that they coveted young pitching above all else, and that's something that is in short supply in the Mets' farm system.
The Yankees sealed the deal by sending five players to the Padres for Soto and fellow outfielder Trent Grisham. Of those five, four are pitchers, and none are older than 28. Michael King is the headliner of the deal, a righty that graduated from the bullpen into a role as an incredibly effective starter down the stretch for the Yankees, where he allowed only five runs in five September starts.
Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez have also shown the ability to start and pitch in relief, which gives the Padres added flexibility in the likely event that they lose reigning N.L. Cy Young winner Blake Snell and All-Star closer Josh Hader to free agency. Drew Thorpe, who finished the year with the Yankees' AA affiliate, has already been ranked as the sixth-best prospect in San Diego's farm system according to MLB.com.
Three of those pitchers are already MLB tested, and the Mets have nothing comparable to offer. Mike Vasil and Blade Tidwell are the highest-ranked pitching prospects in the Mets' system, and MLB.com ranks them eighth and ninth, respectively, so it's doubtful that even they would have been enough to sway Padres GM A.J. Preller. Even if they were, gutting the farm system for one player would go against the "build from within" ethos that Cohen and Stearns share for the long-term vision of the franchise.