Padres finalize deal buying ace Blake Snell from Rays

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Blake Snell gave up the ball in Sport 6 of the World Sequence, shaking his head after supervisor Kevin Money’s curious pitching change.

With three years left on his contract, Snell hardly thought-about that might be his last second on the mound with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The San Diego Padres, decided to go all the best way, simply needed him that a lot.

The upstart Padres finalized their acquisition of the ace left-hander from the Rays on Tuesday, sending 4 prospects in change for the 2018 AL Cy Younger Award winner.

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The Rays will obtain right-handers Luis Patiño and Cole Wilcox and catchers Francisco Mejía and Blake Hunt — all well-regarded kids from a San Diego system that is been stocking the farm for years. The Padres parted with the quartet for a 28-year-old with World Sequence expertise and a youthful confidence that ought to slot in alongside stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado.

“They’re tremendous thrilling,” Snell mentioned. “They’re a group that performs with quite a lot of enjoyable. They’re swaggy they usually can swing the bat.”

San Diego additionally acquired high starter Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, giving the ascending Padres two established aces on the entrance of the rotation as they try to catch the Dodgers within the NL West.

“If we’re going to get to that degree, that championship degree, which the Dodgers received to final 12 months, we’ve received some issues we’ve started working on and we’ll see how issues play out,” common supervisor A.J. Preller mentioned Tuesday night time. “However we really feel like we improved our roster and what was already a really proficient roster. We really feel like we’ve gotten higher to this point this offseason.”

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Snell was 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 begins throughout the pandemic-shortened 2020 common season, then went 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA in six postseason begins for the American League champions.

He pitched spectacularly into the sixth inning of World Sequence Sport 6 in opposition to the Dodgers earlier than Money pulled him after 73 pitches. The transfer backfired when Los Angeles rallied for a 3-1, Sequence-clinching victory.

Snell stood behind Money’s choice and reiterated that assist Tuesday.

“I respect him and I’ve all the time trusted him,” Snell mentioned. “He is aware of win. We received to the World Sequence as a result of we gained.”

Snell mentioned he was shocked and saddened to depart Tampa Bay. He anticipated the Rays buying and selling him earlier than his contract expired, for the reason that small-budget franchise was unlikely to decide to a brand new long-term deal. However he hardly anticipated the transfer to come back this quickly.

“The Padres actually needed me they usually have been persistent and I am completely satisfied about that,” Snell mentioned. “However it’s one thing I’m unhappy about.”

With a younger and proficient group that options Tatís at shortstop and Machado at third base, the Padres completed with the second-best document within the Nationwide League this 12 months at 37-23 — six video games behind Los Angeles — and made the playoffs for the primary time since 2006.

San Diego’s injury-depleted rotation was in shambles when the postseason arrived, however the Padres managed to get previous St. Louis within the first spherical earlier than they have been swept in three video games by the Dodgers within the Division Sequence.

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Mike Clevinger, acquired from Cleveland in August, isn’t anticipated again from Tommy John surgical procedure till 2022, however the Padres produce other high quality starters in Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack. Left-hander MacKenzie Gore is one in every of baseball’s high pitching prospects, the jewel of a deep farm system.

San Diego acquired Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini from the Cubs later Tuesday for right-hander Zach Davies and 4 younger minor league prospects: infielders Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana, and outfielders Owen Caissie and Ismael Mena.

“This group can play and we’re going to be chasing a World Sequence, which is clearly probably the most thrilling piece to this complete factor,” Snell mentioned.

Amongst all left-handed starters within the majors final 12 months, Snell ranked first in strikeout proportion (31%) and sixth in ERA.

“This acquisition is in keeping with our general technique to construct a constantly successful ballclub for the good metropolis of San Diego,” Padres proprietor Peter Seidler mentioned. “I welcome Blake to the Padres and know he’ll take pleasure in taking part in for our enthusiastic and supportive followers in 2021 and past.”

Snell has three years and $39 million remaining on a $50 million, five-year contract he signed with the Rays in March 2019. He’s owed $10.5 million subsequent 12 months, $12.5 million in 2022 and $16 million in 2023 — cut price costs for a pitcher of his caliber.

Patiño could compete to take Snell’s vacated spot in Tampa Bay’s rotation in 2021. The 21-year-old from Colombia is among the many high pitching prospects in baseball with a tough fastball and plus slider. He made his large league debut in 2020 with 10 aid appearances and one begin, going 1-0 with a 5.19 ERA. He struck out 21 however walked 14 over 17 1/3 innings.

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Wilcox is a 21-year-old who was taken within the third spherical of the 2020 draft from the College of Georgia. At 6-foot-5, Wilcox has proven excellent stuff however has struggled at occasions along with his management.

Mejía, 25, turned San Diego’s main catcher throughout the 2019 season, when he hit .265 with eight homers in 79 video games. A left thumb damage restricted him to 17 video games in 2020. Mejía has been among the many recreation’s most promising younger catchers since making headlines with a 50-game hitting streak within the minor leagues, though questions stay about his defensive reliability.

Hunt is a 22-year-old who spent 2019 in Class A earlier than the 2020 minor league season was worn out by the coronavirus. He batted .255 with 5 homers in 89 video games for the Fort Wayne TinCaps two seasons in the past.

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