Reports: Rays agree to send ex-Cy Young winner Snell to Padres

Field Level Media

December 28, 2020 at 7:31 am.

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to trade 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres, according to multiple reports Sunday.

Per the reports, top pitching prospect Luis Patino, catchers Francisco Mejia and Blake Hunt and right-handed pitcher Cole Wilcox would go to Tampa Bay in the deal for Snell, a 28-year-old left-hander who has a career record of 42-30 in five seasons, all with the Rays. He has an earned-run average of 3.24 in 108 starts, posting 648 strikeouts and 232 walks in 556 innings.

The trade is pending a review of medical records, The Athletic reported. MLB.com cited the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as one reason for the deal.

Snell is entering the third season of a five-year, $50 million extension he signed in March 2019 with the Rays. He is due to make a base salary of $10.5 million in 2021 and would become an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 season.

In his Cy Young season, Snell went 21-5 with 1.89 ERA in 180 2/3 innings. He slumped to a 6-8 record and a 4.29 ERA in an injury-marred 2019 but came back with a 4-2 mark and a 3.24 ERA in the 60-game 2020 season.

The Rays won the American League pennant this past season but lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in six games. What could be Snell’s final appearance in a Rays uniform came Oct. 27 in Game 6, when manager Kevin Cash pulled him from the matchup with one out in the sixth inning after Snell had given up a single to Austin Barnes with the bases empty and a 1-0 lead.

It was just the second hit Snell had surrendered in the game. He threw only 73 pitches and struck out nine, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead as the Dodgers won the game 3-1 and the World Series four games to two.

Snell has made the All-Star team one time, in 2018. The Rays selected him with the 52nd overall pick of the 2011 MLB draft out of Shorewood High School in the Seattle area.

The 21-year-old Patino appeared in 11 games for San Diego in 2020, recording a 5.19 ERA while striking out 21 and walking 14 over 17 1/3 innings. Despite numbers that were less than overwhelming in his first MLB stint, the right-hander is considered among the top pitching prospects in baseball.

The Padres selected Wilcox in the third round of the 2020 draft. A right-hander who pitched at Georgia, the 21-year-old received a $3.3 million signing bonus.

Mejia, 25, is the better known of the catchers in the deal. The native of the Dominican Republic made his major-league debut with the Cleveland Indians in 2017 and was sent to San Diego in 2018. In 362 career games over four seasons, he has a .225 batting average with 12 homers and 33 RBIs.

The Padres tapped Hunt, now 22, in the second round of the 2017 draft. At Class A Fort Wayne in 2019, he appeared in 89 games and hit .255 with five home runs and 39 RBIs. Behind the plate, he threw out 33 of 100 runners attempting to steal.