The San Diego Padres achieved the second-best record in the National League last season behind the eventual World Series champions, Los Angeles Dodgers. Finishing six games back in the division, the Padres met the Dodgers in the playoffs, losing in three straight games.
Now, a single move that was made by the San Diego Padres to fill a hole should inch them closer to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Left-handed starting pitcher Blake Snell was traded to the Padres in a blockbuster deal involving five players. The deal, which is pending physicals, will send Padres’ prospects Blake Hunt, Luis Patino and Cole Wilcox along with catcher Francisco Mejia to Tampa Bay in return for Snell.
The glaring hole in the Padres’ pitching staff occurred when Mike Clevenger underwent Tommy John surgery last month. It must be noted that Blake Snell pitched very well against the Dodgers in the World Series and he should be facing the Dodgers numerous times during the 2021 season. Snell won the 2018 Cy Young Award and although he struggled in 2019 with a 6-8 record with a 4.29 ERA, was solid last season with a 4-2 record and 3.24 ERA in 11 starts. Snell and Dinelson Lamet, who struck out 93 and allowed only 39 hits in 69 innings, should be a dominant duo at the front end of the Padres rotation.
Looking ahead beyond 2021 and the Padres rotation could be downright scary with the return of Mike Clevenger, along with Snell, Lamet, Gore and Paddack. The San Diego Padres clearly paid a lot to get Blake Snell, giving up their number three prospect David Price, a strikeout pitcher with a powerful arm, who dominated in Class A Advanced. The addition of Snell will be the biggest move the Padres can afford to make this offseason, but it doesn’t mean they are finishing dealing. Expect them to continue to actively look to bolster the pitching staff.