SAN DIEGO – Blake Snell dropped the ball in Game 6 of the World Series, shaking his head after manager Kevin Cash’s keen pitching change.
With three years remaining on his contract, Snell hardly believed it could be his last moment as Tampa Bay Ray.
San Diego Padre, determined to go all the way, was all he needed.
The upstart Padres on Tuesday finalized the takeover of the leftover ace from the Rage, giving it four chances in exchange for the 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner.
The Rays will receive right-handers Luis Patino and Cole Wilcox and catchers Francisco Mejia and Blake Hunt – all famous young players from the San Diego system who have been stocking the farm for years. The Padres competed with the quartet for the 28-year-old with World Series experience and a young confidence that should fit alongside star Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado.
Snell gives the ascending Padres an established ace on the rotation front as they attempt to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. San Diego is also on the verge of acquiring Chicago Cubs starter Yu Darvish, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jessie Rogers and Jeff Passon.
“They’re super exciting,” Snell said. “They are a team that plays with great fun. They are swinging and they can swing the bat.”
Snead went 4–2 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 during the 2020 regular season during the pandemic, then went 2–2 with a 3.03 ERA in six postseason starts for the American League champions.
He performed brilliantly in the sixth inning of World Series Game 6, before Cash pulled him after 73 pitches against the Dodgers. The move backfired when Los Angeles rallied for a 3–1 series-clinching win.
Snell reiterated that support on Tuesday, standing behind Cash’s decision.
“I respect him and I’ve always trusted him,” Snell said. “He knows how to win. We went to the World Series because we won.”
Snell said he was shocked and saddened to leave Tampa Bay. He feared trading the Rays before his contract expired, as a long-term deal for the small-budget franchise was unlikely. But he hardly expected the move to come soon.
“The Pelres really wanted me and they were consistent, and I’m happy about it,” Snell said. “But this is something I’m sad about.”
With a young and talented team at third base featuring the Tarties at shortstop and Machado, the Padres finished the season at 37-23 with the second-best record in the NL – six games from Los Angeles – and for the playoffs Created for the first time since 2006.
San Diego’s injury-free rotation was shaky since the postman’s arrival, but the Padres managed to get to St. Louis in the first round before the Dodgers swept three matches in the division series.
Mike Clevinger, acquired from Cleveland in August, does not expect Tommy John to return from surgery until 2022, but the Pendresses have other quality starts in Dunnelson Lemet and Chris Paddak. Left-handed player McKenzie Gore is one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, the jewel of a deep farm system.
“This team can play and we are going to chase the World Series, which is obviously the most exciting part of this whole thing,” Snell said.
Of all left-handed starters in the majors last year, Snell finished first in strike percentage (31%) and sixth in ERA.
“This acquisition is in line with our overall strategy to build a consistently winning ballclub for the great city of San Diego,” said Padres owner Peter Seidler. “I welcome Blake to the Padres and know that he will enjoy playing for our enthusiastic and supportive fans in 2021 and beyond.”
Snell has three years and $ 39 million remaining at $ 50 million, a five-year contract he signed with the Rays in March 2019. He has Barban prices for $ 10.5 million next year, $ 12.5 million in 2022 and $ 16 million in 2023 – baseball’s one. The best pitcher.
In 2021 in the rotation of Tampa Bay, Patino could compete to take Snell’s vacant spot. Columbia’s 21-year-old is among the top pitching prospects in baseball with a hardball and plus slider. He made his big league debut in 2020 with 10 relief appearances and one start, leading 1-0 with a 5.19 ERA. He scored 21 runs but 14 runs in 17uck innings.
The 21-year-old Wilcox was moved from the University of Georgia in the third round of the 2020 draft. At 6-foot-5, Wilcox has shown excellent stuff, but has struggled with his control several times.
Mejia, 25, became San Diego’s primary catcher during the 259 season when he hit .265 with eight homers in 79 games. A left thumb injury limited him to 17 games in 2020. Mejia is one of the most promising young catchers in the game since he hit the headlines with a 50-game hit in the minor leagues, though questions are raised about his defensive credibility.
Hunt, 22, 2019 was eliminated in Class A by the Coronovirus before the 2020 minor league season. He batted .255 with 89 homers in 89 matches for the Fort Wayne Tincaps two seasons ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.