BREAKING: The Padres have an agreement in place to acquire Blake Snell from the Rays, sources tell @JCTSports, @Ken_Rosenthal and me. Luis Patiño, Francisco Mejía, Blake Hunt and Cole Wilcox would head to Tampa. Deal pending review of medical records.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) December 28, 2020
The Padres sought to bolster their rotation for a 2020 postseason run after trading for Mike Clevinger from the Cleveland franchise. However, an elbow injury prevented Clevinger from pitching during the Wild Card round. He appeared in Game 1 of the Division Series round against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but was pulled from the game after one inning when he showed a worrisome decrease in fastball velocity. The Padres were eventually swept by the Dodgers, who went on to win the 2020 Covidball Classic against the Rays. In November, the Friars announced Clevinger underwent Tommy John surgery, which means he will not pitch until 2022 at the earliest.
Clevinger’s injury left San Diego in need of a true ace to lead the rotation in future title runs. Snell won the American League Cy Young Award in 2018 and, most importantly, dominated the Dodgers in the 2020 World Series with an incredible K9 rate of 16.2 on 18 strikeouts over 10.0 IP.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Padres are blessed with pitching depth that will allow them to make other deals to improve the squad ahead of the 2021 season.
Padres rotation 2021:
Padres rotation 2022
Which is also to say: San Diego can get even better using its rotation depth to make some other deals.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 28, 2020
While other MLB teams have been dumping salary for 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic set back owners’ profit projections, the Padres have put the league on notice that they are looking to win now and will be active on the trade market. They should remain popular with the many executives who are seeking trade partners.
Featured Image: Petco Park Stadium, home of the Padres baseball team, in San Diego by meunierd / Shutterstock.com.