Just a few seconds ago the San Diego Padres have come to a blockbuster deal with the San Diego Padres for 2018 AL CY Young Award winner Blake Snell. Luis Patino, Francisco Mejia and prospects Blake Hunt and Cole Wilcox are heading back to Tampa Bay.
Blake Snell is coming off a bounce back 2020 season after a down year in 2019, that saw him regress significantly after winning his first CY Young. In 2020, Snell posted a 3.24 ERA, 131 ERA+ and 1.20 WHIP in 50.0 innings. Snell provides San Diego with another outstanding arm to their rotation, with Mike Clevinger coming back from Tommy John surgery at some point in 2021, along with 2020 standout Dinelson Lamet, Zach Davies and Chris Paddack.
The big get for the Rays, was Padres number three prospect Luis Patino, who has carved through the minor league levels from 2017-2019 and received his first taste of the big leagues in 2020 with 17.1 innings. Along with Patino, young catcher Francisco Mejia was not going to have a role outside of backup catcher duty in San Diego moving forward, with the trade for Austin Nola blocking his path to starting. Mejia shows a good deal of promise behind the plate, ranking tied for ninth in average pop time at 1.95, and had the strongest arm in the league in 2020, averaging 89 MPH behind the plate. His bat is lagging a bit behind his defensive production, as he is a career .225/.282/.386 hitter with a .668 OPS in only 362 plate appearances. The other two parts of the deal in Blake Hunt and Cole Wilcox also look like good gets, as Wilcox was the seventh best prospect in the Padres system, and Hunt was the 14th.