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The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a trade that would send ace Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Snell, 28, was the recipient of the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, and is coming off a season where he helped the Rays reach the World Series before eventually falling to the Dodgers.

The Rays will reportedly receive the Padres number three prospect, P Luis Patino, C Francisco Mejia, P Cole Wilcox, and C/1B Blake Hunt.

Snell joins a Padres rotation headlined by Dilenson Lamet, Chris Paddack, and for the 2022 season, Mike Clevinger who had Tommy John surgery this offseason and will miss the 2021 season. The Padres also keep top prospect Mackenzie Gore, who will likely slide into the rotation in the near future. 

Tampa Bay gets back the number three prospect in the Padres organization Luis Patino, who is ranked number twenty-three in the MLB’s pipeline prospects. Expect Patino to immediately compete for a spot in the rotation. The Rays also receive catcher Francisco Mejia, who was at one point a top-five prospect for the Cleveland Indians, and he’ll compete for the starting catcher job with Mike Zunino who was recently re-signed.  The Rays will also receive two additional prospects, P Cole Wilcox, and C/1B Blake Hunt.

Snell departs from the Rays after helping lead them to the 2020 World Series. He was taken out of Game 6 of the World Series in the 6th inning however, a move in which Snell second guessed manager Kevin Cash, and a move that was criticized throughout baseball. 

The remainder of Snell’s contracts includes 3 years for $39 million, signed through 2023; a very reasonable contract considering what other elite pitchers are being paid. The deal likely ends a market for Trevor Bauer and other free agent pitchers in San Diego.

The Padres enter the season coming off a Wild Card berth, and will look to again compete within the National League, while the Rays look to continue adding to their strong farm system.

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