The Padres are finalizing two blockbuster deals.
2018 AL Cy Young Winner Blake Snell & 2020 NL runner up Yu Darvish are reportedly headed to San Diego in two separate multi-player deals, according to The Athletic. The deal for Snell would include the Padres sending Luis Patino, Francisco Mejia, Cole Wilcox and Blake Hunt to the Rays. Following Darvish from Chicago to the Padres includes catcher Victor Caratini for hurler Zach Davies and prospects Yeison Santana, Ismael Mena and Reginald Preciado.
The Padres are clearly ready to win now. In 2020, though it was a shortened season, San Diego made the playoffs for the first time since 2006, losing in the Divisional Series to the eventual World Champion Dodgers. They have Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the premiere young players in baseball, and Manny Machado looked like he was worth the $300 million dollar contract he signed in 2019, winning a Silver Slugger and finishing third in NL MVP voting.
Darvish and Snell weren’t the only acquisitions the Padres made in the last two days. According to Joel Sherman, they signed one of the best shortstops in the KBO, Ha-seong Kim. He had a slashline of .306/.397/.523 in Korea last year.
Their offense might be what makes the Padres seem fun and exciting, but their starting pitching was key to their success. San Diego’s rotation saw three of their starting pitchers with an ERA under 3.00. Two of those starters they will not have this year. Mike Clevinger, who just had Tommy John Surgery in November, will miss the entire 2021 season. Clevinger was acquired at the trade deadline in August and had a 2.84 ERA in four starts for his new team out west.
The other starter is Zach Davies, who I mentioned earlier is being shipped to Chicago for Darvish. Davies went 7-4 and had a 2.73 ERA in 12 starts.
But with no Clevinger this upcoming season the Padres knew they had to make some big moves, even if it meant moving Davies. Snell hasn’t been the same pitcher since his 2018 Cy Young season (21-5, 1.89 ERA), but repeating those types of numbers isn’t easy. Snell was solid last year (4-2, 3.24 ERA) and was infamously pulled in the sixth inning while pitching a shutout in Game 6 of the World Series. Snell makes the Padres better.
Darvish is 34, but he’s coming off a year where he had a 2.01 ERA, which was good for second-best in the National League behind Cy-Young winner Trevor Bauer. He also led the league in FIP (2.23) and was fourth in the league in strikeouts (93).
Darvish and Snell will be joining Dinelson Lamet to form a Big Three. Lamet was almost right on par with Darvish statistically in 2020. He sported a 2.09 ERA with 93 K’s and finished fourth in Cy Young voting. Even with no Davies or Clevinger, the Padres look to have one of the best starting rotations going into the 2021 season.
The Padres were fun in 2020, but this year they’re not only looking to be fun…they’re looking to contend for a World Series.
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