The San Diego Padres seem to be serious about not only contending in the National League West, but contending for a division title against the World Series champions Los Angeles Dodgers as well, in 2021. On Sunday, the Padres acquired pitching ace Blake Snell of Seattle, WA for minor league prospects Luis Patino of Barranquilla, Colombia, Francisco Mejia of Bani, Dominican Republic, Blake Hunt of Costa Mesa, CA, and Cole Wilcox of Chattanooga, TN according to Rogers Sportsnet.
Patino and Mejia are a pitcher and a catcher respectively, with Major League experience. Hunt and Wilcox are a catcher and a pitcher respectively, without Major League experience. The Rays become Mejia’s third Major League Baseball team, as he also has played for Cleveland. In 2019, Mejia saw regular playing time for the Padres as he batted .265 with eight home runs and 22 runs batted in. However last season Mejia struggled mightily as he only batted .077 with one home run and two runs batted in, during 17 games.
The 2020 season was also a definite struggle for Patino. He had an earned run average of 5.19 in 11 games with the Padres.
But, let us not kid ourselves. This trade is all about the Padres acquiring Snell. In 2020, Snell becomes just the latest player the Rays have traded who is about to reach the pinnacle of his career.
In 2020, Snell has a record of four wins, two losses, and an earned run average of 3.24. In 11 starts, he pitched 50 innings, and gave up 42 hits, 18 earned runs, and 18 walks, along with 63 strikeouts, and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.20.
Snell’s finest Major League season was in 2018 when he won the American League Cy Young Award with the Rays. That season he was 21-6, with a 1.89 earned run average, and had 221 strikeouts in 180 2/3 innings pitched.
With the Rays, expect Snell to join a rotation in 2021 that also includes Dinelson Lamet, Zach Davies, and Mike Clevinger. There is also a lot of talk at the moment that the Padres might be interested in Japanese starting pitcher Yu Darvish.