Industrial notes from Blake Snell: Padres draw an ace; The rays are nonetheless full of recent prospects


The Rays and Padres closed their third trade in just over a year on Sunday, and this one outperformed the first two. San Diego is acquiring left-handed Blake Snell for a package of prospects and young major leaders led by right-handed Luis Patiño.

Patiño is sent to Tampa Bay with the catcher Francisco Mejía, the pitching prospect Cole Wilcox and the catch prospect Blake Hunt. Jeff Passan of ESPN and Dennis Lin, Josh Tolentino and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first gave details of the deal.

The teams that brought us previous swaps like Tommy Pham-for-Hunter Renfroe (plus a certain little Leaguer Snell disparaged with a crude adjective) and Emilio Pagán for Manuel Margot made the biggest trade of the 2020 MLB offseason. 21 offered.

Sporting News offers instant grades for the reported swap.

Padres: A.

What other grade can San Diego get? The second best team in NL West earns a 28 year old ace with a Cy Young award on their résumé. Not only that, it will gain control of the ace at a low, low cost (in baseball terms) for three years: $ 13 million a year. San Diego is happy to take on the remainder of the $ 50 million five-year extension that Tampa Bay granted Snell prior to the 2019 season.

Snell couldn't throw many innings in 2020 (regular or post-season as we've all seen in the World Series) but by the time he was on the hill he was mostly good. He posted a 3.24 ERA in 11 starts (but only 50 innings when Tampa Bay handled him carefully), though a 4.35 FIP could raise eyebrows. He averaged 11.3 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings, but also served 10 home runs.

His post-season work was better. In 29 2/3 innings over six starts (including the infamous start in Game 6 of the World Series), he put up an ERA of 3.03 and 12.4 K / 9.

Snell moves to the top of the San Diego rotation, replacing Mike Clevinger, who will miss the 2021 season following surgery on Tommy John in November. Behind Snell are Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet and Zach Davies.

In return, the Padres will live with giving up the 21-year-old Patiño, who had problems in his first encounter with the major leagues last season. He worked mostly out of the bullpen, posting a 5.19 ERA in 17 1/3 innings. He hit 21 and went 14, which is a good indicator of his things and his command. He also gained post-season experience working in NLWCS and NLDS.

San Diego has spent a lot of potential capital on this deal, but its farming system is considered profound. Patiño was the club's No. 3 prospect according to the MLB Pipeline, but he was behind No. 1 prospect MacKenzie Gore in the pitching ranks. Wilcox was number 7, Hunt was 14th.

Rays: B-

Snell joins the elite firm: he is the latest Rays Stud Pitcher on offer to potential clients in a sell high trade (David Price, James Shields, Chris Archer, etc.). Based on numbers from the baseball prospectus, Tampa Bay paid Snell only $ 3.5 million of the money he had promised him on this extension ($ 1 million in 2019, $ 2.5 million in 2020, i.e. Part of his original salary of $ 7 million).

Tampa Bay is also adding the next set of young reinforcements starting with Patiño and Mejía.

25-year-old Mejía failed to establish himself in two locations, Cleveland and San Diego (78 OPS +, 12 home runs in 362 career record appearances) Tampa Bay earlier in the off-season. But the Rays have such a hit track record that it is wrong to predict he will fail a third time.

Wilcox, 21, has yet to pitch professionally after being selected in the University of Georgia third round in the 2020 MLB Draft. The 22-year-old Hunt has not exceeded the level formerly known as Low Single-A. He completed his fourth professional season in 2020.

Yes, the Rays got three top 15 prospects out of a loaded farm system, but there seem to be big questions with this group. And the squad churn must still be daunting for Tampa Bay fans, despite seeing versions of the same movie every off-season. Not that the organization cares; It keeps moving valuable players for potential capital.


Steven Gregory