San Diego Padres Acquire Blake Snell

Blake Snell trade

The San Diego Padres have made the biggest splash of the offseason so far Sunday night in acquiring pitcher Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay will receive four prospects in the trade, including the Padres’ third-best prospect Luis Patino. This news is very exciting as the market remains fairly cold. Jeff Passan was among the first to break the news late Sunday night.

Padres Acquire Blake Snell

Snell was a very solid pitcher in 2020. He threw 50 innings with a 3.24 ERA and 63 strikeouts compared to only 18 walks. It wasn’t an amazing year, but it was good considering how careful Tampa is with their pitchers; only Tyler Glasnow had more than 50 innings last year. Snell’s velocity remained consistent at 95.1 mph with the fastball and his overall repertoire ultimately resulted in a 31% strikeout rate.

The Rays originally drafted Snell in the first round of the 2011 Amateur Draft out of high school. He debuted in 2016 with a 3.54 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 89 innings. His best year came in 2018 when he threw 180 2/3 innings with a 1.89 ERA and 221 strikeouts. It was a tremendous season that earned the then-25-year-old his first Cy Young Award and down-ballot MVP consideration. Overall, the 28-year-old has accumulated 556 innings across 108 starts with a 3.24 ERA, 648 strikeouts, and just over 11 WAR.

What This Trade Means

This trade signifies that San Diego is extremely serious about contending for a World Series in 2021. The Padres will go into the coming season with a rotation featuring Snell, Dinelson Lamet, and Chris Paddack. That is an outstanding core of arms that could be the best five-man group in the National League.

This is also a classic Rays move as it removes Snell’s salary of $11.1 million from the team’s books. Tampa is consistently eager to avoid paying talented players big money, but they are getting a fantastic haul in exchange. Francisco Mejia should compete for a starting catching spot, while Patino should be a factor somewhere on the pitching staff. Catcher Blake Hunt and 2020 draftee Cole Wilcox add intriguing depth for the future. Both teams come out very well in this blockbuster.

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