On Sunday, the Rays and Padres completed their third trade in just over a year, and it far exceeds the first two. San Diego is buying southpaw Blake Snell for a set of prospects and young major leagues under right-hander Luis Patiño, according to multiple reports.
Patiño heads to Tampa Bay with wide receiver Francisco Mejía, launching prospect Cole Wilcox and prospect Blake Hunt. Jeff Passan from ESPN and Athletic’s Dennis Lin, Josh Tolentino and Ken Rosenthal were the first to report the details of the business.
Teams that brought us past trades such as Tommy Pham-for-Hunter Renfroe (plus some maligned Minor League Snell with a crass adjective) and Emilio Pagán for Manuel Margot have moved on to providing the biggest trade of the MLB offseason. 2020-21. .
Sporting News offers instant notes for the reported trade.
What other grade can San Diego get? NL West’s second-best team is in the process of acquiring a 28-year-old ace with a Cy Young award in their CV; not only that, it’s getting three years of control over said ace at a low cost (in baseball terms): $ 13 million a year. San Diego will happily take on the remainder of the five-year, $ 50 million extension Tampa Bay gave Snell ahead of the 2019 season.
Snell didn’t have a chance to pitch a lot of innings in 2020 (regular or playoffs, as we’ve all seen in the World Series), but when he was on the mound he was mostly good. He’s posted a 3.24 ERA in 11 starts (but just 50 innings as Tampa Bay handled him with care), although a 4.35 PIF may raise eyebrows. He’s averaged 11.3 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings, but has also served 10 homers.
His post-season job was better. In 29 2/3 innings over six starts (including the infamous start of Game 6 of the World Series), he clocked a 3.03 ERA and 12.4 K / 9.
Snell is moving to the top of the San Diego rotation, replacing Mike Clevinger, who will miss the 2021 season after undergoing surgery on Tommy John in November. Behind Snell are Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet and Zach Davies.
For that, the Padres will live by ditching the 21-year-old Patiño, who struggled in his first major league exposure last season. He worked mostly out of the box, posting a 5.19 ERA in 17 1/3 innings. He crossed out 21 and walked 14, which is a good indicator of his business and his leadership. He also gained playoff experience working in the NLWCS and NLDS.
San Diego has spent a lot of potential capital on this deal, but its farming system is considered deep. Patiño was the club’s third hope according to MLB Pipeline, but he was behind No.1 prospect MacKenzie Gore in the pitching ranks. Wilcox was the No.7 prospect, Hunt was 14th.
Snell joins an elite company: he is the last stud pitcher of the Rays to be treated for prospects in trades for sale (David Price, James Shields, Chris Archer, etc.). Based on the numbers in the Baseball Prospectus, Tampa Bay only paid Snell $ 3.5 million of the money he had promised him in that extension ($ 1 million in 2019, $ 2.5 million in 2019). dollars in 2020, the pro-rata share of his initial salary of $ 7 million).
Tampa Bay is also adding its next group of young reinforcements to the deal, starting with Patiño and Mejía.
Mejía, 25, has failed to establish himself in two places, Cleveland and San Diego (78 OPS +, 12 home runs in 362 career appearances), and for now, he’s just planning to split his time with Mike Zunino. , who re-signed with Tampa Bay earlier in the offseason. But the Rays have such a record with batting that it’s wrong to predict he’ll fail a third time.
Wilcox, 21, is yet to present a professional pitch after being selected in the University of Georgia’s third round in the 2020 MLB Draft. Hunt, 22, has not surpassed the level formerly known as the name of Low Single-A. He completed his fourth professional season in 2020.
So, yes, the Rays picked three of the top 15 prospects from a busy farming system, but there seem to be some big questions with this group. And the list’s churn rate must still be disheartening for Tampa Bay fans, even if they’ve seen versions of the same movie every offseason. Not that the organization cares about this; it keeps moving valuable players for potential capital.