The one player who could make A.J. Preller's deadline look better

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres GM AJ Preller went into the 2021 trade deadline with a few specific positional needs.

1. Starting Pitching

2. Bullpen Help

3. Bench Help (AKA someone better than Jorge Mateo)

He achieved two out of those three big needs with the additions of Daniel Hudson and Jake Marisnick, not to mention that he blew all our minds when he acquired All-Star Adam Frazier this Sunday before the deadline. What he didn't do, though, was acquire the Padres' seemingly biggest need: rotation help.

It was clear the Padres needed to get some rotation help because there isn't much certainty past Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove. Blake Snell just gave up seven runs to a playoff team at home in his last start. Chris Paddack has been up and down this season and manager Jayce Tingler didn't even give him the ball in an elimination game in the NLDS so we can't expect Tingler's confidence to change in Paddack just because it's a new year. Ryan Weathers is likely on an innings limit and might be better used as a pitcher who piggybacks another starter. Dinelson Lamet hasn't consistently been healthy this year so he isn't a guarantee to give San Diego some innings down the stretch.

The Padres got second place in the Max Scherzer bidding and probably got second place in the hunt for numerous starters who were available, such as Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, and Danny Duffy. However, one pitcher who could make San Diego's deadline results look a little better is Blake Snell because if he didn't pitch as bad as he did this year, the Padres wouldn't have felt the need to go get a front line starter. They would've had a "big three" of Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Blake Snell, which was the ideal scenario for the Padres front office heading into Spring Training.

Snell currently owns a 5.44 ERA in 19 starts with a -0.2 WAR. Those numbers don't reflect what the front office believed they were getting when they acquired him from Tampa Bay in the offseason. Preller noted in his post-deadline presser that the majority of the rotation (headlined by Snell) simply needs to perform up to expectations and if he does that, then they'll be in a pretty good spot. "If we're going to be the team we want to be, it's going to involve Blake Snell pitching well for us," Preller told the media on Friday afternoon.

Blake Snell pitching better on a consistent basis is the biggest key to the Padres success the rest of the season and if he does, the front office likely won't take as much heat as they are right now for not picking up a starter.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball staff or SB Nation.

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