Is Shohei Ohtani or Juan Soto better for the Mets this offseason?
The Mets only get one shot at Ohtani. They could get at least two with Soto. This doesn't mean the waiting game is the approach to take. If the Mets truly want Soto, going out and getting him now is what you do.
It does feel unrealistic for the Mets to pursue either with full force. The most boring scenario is for Ohtani to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Soto stays put. The boring occurrence is what's best for the Mets.
Soto staying in San Diego another year seems to actually increase his chances of hitting free agency. The team has a lot tied up in other players who'll be difficult to move. They'd be wise to keep Soto. However, they seem to have already made enough unwise moves to make trading him a realistic possibility.
This doesn't answer the most important question of all: is signing Ohtani or trading for Soto the better move?
Longevity wins. The Mets are far more likely to get a full decade of awesomeness from Soto than they would from Ohtani. Even at the cost of prospects, it's the trigger to pull.
Odds are the Mets may prefer to look in other directions. Build a team now around seeking Soto out in free agency next offseason. If he never makes it or signs elsewhere, target the next best thing in a trade. You'll still have your bullets. You'll be closer to knowing which ones you want to keep.