The San Diego Padres are set to make a huge trade headed into 2021. The team is acquiring starting pitcher Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for four prospects, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The Rays would acquire pitching prospect Luis Patiño, catchers Francisco Mejia and Blake Hunt, and right-handed pitching prospect Cole Wilcox, per The Athletic.
Snell immediately slots into the top of a rotation that ranked 8th last season in ERA, 9th in opponents’ batting average, and 3rd in WHIP. Zach Davies and Dinelson Lamet topped the pitching depth chart, followed by Chris Paddack and Garrett Richards. Snell joins the rotation coming off a 2020 season in which he threw 50 innings and finished with a 3.24 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with a 63/18 K/BB ratio. In the playoffs, he had a 3.03 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 29 2⁄3 innings. He is three seasons removed from winning the Cy Young Award in 2018. He is signed through 2023 and owed salaries of $10.5 million in 2021, 12.5 million in 2022, and $16 million in 2023.
Luis Patiño is MLB.com’s 23rd ranked prospect. He made 11 appearances with the Padres last season, throwing 17 1⁄3 innings and striking out 21 batters. In 2019 he split the season between high A and AA. At high A Lake Elsinore, he had a 2.69 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while striking out 113 over 87 innings. At AA Amarillo, he made two starts and struck out 10 while giving up 1 earned run.