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Padres set to acquire Rays P Blake Snell

San Diego will send it’s top pitching prospect to Tampa Bay, among other players.

MLB: World Series-Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Dodgers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Late Sunday evening, ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke the news that the Padres were expected to acquire Rays pitcher and former Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell for a package of four prospects, including top-pitching prospect Luis Patino.

The Rays will also receive catchers Francisco Mejia and Blake Hunt, along with first-year pitcher Cole Wilcox whom the Padres drafted in the third round of the 2020 MLB draft out of the University of Georgia.

Snell, a former first-round pick by the Rays back in 2011, didn’t see time with the Rays until the 2016 season. He’s been moeny ever since, including a stellar 2018 season where he compiled a 21-5 record with a 1.89 ERA en route to taking home the American League Cy Young Award. Across five seasons in the major leagues, Snell is 42-30 with a 3.24 ERA with 648 strikeouts in 556 innings over 108 starts.

Coincidentally, the deal was agreed upon exactly two months to the day of Game Six of the World Series where Snell was pulled following 5 13 innings of excellent work for the Rays. This move caused quite the backlash from the fan base as the Rays went on to lose the series to the Dodgers.

The 28-year old is set to join an exciting group with a terrific outlook in 2021 with the likes of Mike Clevinger, Dinelson Lamet, and Zach Davies. After the bullpen was a key issue in the Padres falling short of their potential in 2020, they have made the necessary moves to turn that weakness into one of the club’s biggest strengths.