Juan Soto was traded to the New York Yankees this past offseason after the San Diego Padres missed the playoffs in 2023. San Diego entered the '23 campaign with lofty expectations but fell short in the end. Soto recently opened up on the Padres' disappointing performance during an interview with Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.

“It is what it is. We tried our best,” Soto told Kirschner. “A lot of our players had a good season, like incredible seasons. We had a lot of good players. I don’t know. It just happens. We grinded every day but it didn’t work out for us. It hurts because we know we were capable to do more stuff. At the end of the day, it didn’t work out and we couldn’t get back on track.”

The Padres had reached the playoffs in 2022 and even upset the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. In 2023, though, they finished with a mediocre 82-80 record. Soto certainly wasn't to blame for San Diego's underperformance.

The star outfielder was selected to his third career All-Star team and ultimately finished sixth in National League MVP voting after slashing .275/.410/.519/.930. Soto added 35 home runs, 32 doubles, 109 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. Additionally, he utilized his .410 OBP to lead the league in walks for a third time in his career, finishing with a total of 132.

Soto's plate discipline is one of the best assets of his game, and it will help him find success alongside Aaron Judge in New York.

Juan Soto's final thoughts on Padres

San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) bats against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

It should be noted that the Padres displayed signs of potential toward the end of the 2023 season. Kirschner asked Soto if he ever thinks about “what if” following their late-season momentum.

“If we would’ve got into the playoff race, I think we would’ve had a chance to go all the way,” Soto said. “It would’ve been a different vibe in the playoffs. We had the best players in the whole league. What team had more talent last year than the San Diego Padres? It was incredible. I think we would’ve had a really good shot to go all the way through the World Series.”

San Diego unquestionably featured no shortage of talent. They had a big four, in a sense, with Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Xander Bogaerts. In the end, however, things did not go according to plan and the Padres missed the postseason.

And now Soto is set to help lead the Yankees in 2024.