The Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly making star pitcher Blake Snell available. Should the San Diego Padres make a move?
While the Tampa Bay Rays look to get over the World Series hump after falling in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers, one report that is sure to shake up the baseball world just surfaced. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Rays aren’t actively shopping Blake Snell, but they are listening to offers for the southpaw. The Padres would appear to be an immediate favorite in light of the Mike Clevinger news.
Unless Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, or another southpaw steps into the rotation, the Padres are heavy on the right-side. Snell turns 28 in a matter of days and is two seasons removed from winning the AL’s CY Young Award. He was outstanding in the shortened season, posting a 3.24 ERA in 11 starts while fanning 63.0 batters in just 50.0 innings.
He ended the postseason on a sour note, pulled from his start in Game 6 after allowing a single, just his third hit of the game, in the sixth inning. The move immediately backfired, as the Dodgers rallied to take the lead and ultimately the series. Snell still has three years left on the five-year, $50M contract he signed before the 2019 season.
These two clubs are no strangers to swapping players, completing two trades last offseason.
Snell would give the Padres a true ace at a much-needed time. And when Clevinger presumably returns healthy, San Diego’s rotation looks scary on paper. Snell features a four-pitch mix, showing his four-seam fastball 50 percent of the time with a healthy balance of his slider, curveball, and changeup to round out his arsenal. He has excellent swing-and-miss stuff and induces weak contact when the ball hits the bat.
Sources: Rays open to trading Blake Snell https://t.co/xdHhGsT8NA
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 23, 2020
The major question for the Padres, and every other interested team, is what it would take to get this kind of deal completed?
CBS Sports’ Jim Bowden stated that the Rays were interested in upgrading their catching situation this offseason. However, if they’re willing to move Blake Snell, there has to be some give and take in terms of what they hope to accomplish in 2021. They can’t expect any catcher they might acquire to possibly outslug the runs lost from not having Snell in your rotation.
Any deal obviously begins with Luis Campusano and potentially Francisco Mejia. The Padres have a few catchers, and Austin Nola is under contract through the 2025 season. Finding playing time for anyone else could be tough to come by. The Rays’ pride themselves on their farm system, highlighted by top prospect Wander Franco, who is expected to patrol the shortstop position next year.
Beyond that lies LHP Brendan McKay, a couple of infielders, and several more pitchers. The Rays recently DFA’d former Padre Hunter Renfroe, leaving a glaring hole in right field. Jorge Ona makes a lot of sense to include in the deal, as he’s projected to see an increased role in 2021. Completing the possible deal, Morejon could give the Rays a starting pitcher for the future.
With Snell on the Padres roster, someone will be the odd man out in the rotation. Both Luis Patino and MacKenzie Gore appear to be safe, but Morejon could thrive in Tampa. Obviously, the Rays would not retain any money in this potential deal. Snell would improve the Padres greatly, and the team can certainly afford the asking price. What will the Padres do?