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December 29, 2020

Rays trade Blake Snell to the Padres for prospects

The Tampa Bay Rays traded left-hander Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres in a five-player deal that nets the Rays four prospects.

The Rays picked up two catchers in the deal, Francisco Mejia and Blake Hunt. Two hard-throwing right-handers Luis Patino, and Cole Wilcox, will also be headed to Tampa.

Snell, who is entering the third year of a five-year contract, is still owed 39 million dollars on that deal.

The 28-year-old Snell has a lifetime 42-30 record with a 3.24 ERA.

Snells’ best season was 2018 when he went 21-6 and won the American League Cy Young Award. Snell was named to the American League All-Star team that year also.

Snell joins a San Diego rotation that features Dinelson Lamet, Yu Darvish, Chris Paddock.

Mike Clevinger will not pitch in 2021 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

The Padres also have Mackenzie Gore and Adrian Morejon in the pipeline, and they could make the Padres rotation this season.

Francisco Mejia will platoon with Mike Zunino behind the plate this year. Mejia is not known for his hitting but is good defensively.

Mejia entered the 2018 season with the Cleveland Indians as the number 11 prospect in baseball, according to mlbpipeline.com. Cleveland traded Meija to San Diego mid-season.

Mejia played in 79 games during the 2018 season hitting .265 with eight homers and 22 runs batted in.

In 334 career at-bats, Mejia is hitting .225 with 12 home runs and 35 runs batted in.

Patino was signed in 2016 out of Columbia and will join Tyler Glasnow, Ryan Yarbrough, and Michael Wacha in the Rays rotation.

Patino is a hard throwing right hander with a 97 MPH fastball and was the Padres number three prospect. Pitino pitched in 17 innings last season with a 5.19 ERA mostly in relief.

In 50 minor league appearances, Pitino was 16-13 with a 2.35 ERA in a starting role. Besides a fastball that gets into the upper 90’s, Patino also throws a slider and a change up.

The Padres took Cole Wilcox in the third round of the 2020 draft out of Georgia’s University. Wilcox was 6-2 with a 3.38 ERA in his college career.

Catcher Blake Hunt provides catching depth for the Rays. In 2019 his last season of organized ball, Hunt hit .255 with five homers and 35 runs batted in at Class A.

The Rays have shaved over 25 million dollars from the payroll with Snell’s trade and not re-signing Charlie Morton.

The Rays could have some more moves coming. There are rumors that outfielder and fan favorite Kevin Keirmaier could be next to go. Keirmaier is due to make 11.50 million dollars this year.

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