MLB Rumors: Rays trade ace Blake Snell to Padres in blockbuster deal

Darren Hartwell
·2 min read

What reported Blake Snell blockbuster means for Red Sox, AL East originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Two months after giving Blake Snell an early hook in the World Series, the Tampa Bay Rays are shipping their ace out of town.

The Rays have agreed to a trade with the Padres that will send Snell to San Diego in return for four of Tampa Bay's top prospects: pitchers Luis Patino and Cole Wilcox and catchers Francisco Mejia and Blake Hunt, The Athletic's Dennis Lin reported late Sunday night.

Snell's departure from the American League East is a massive development, as the 2018 Cy Young award winner arguably was the best pitcher in the division.

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While the Red Sox will benefit in the near term from not having to face Snell -- who is 7-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 12 career starts against Boston -- the Rays improved their already-loaded farm system via a prospect haul led by the 21-year-old Patino, the No. 23 overall prospect in baseball according to MLB.com.

Tampa Bay also freed up $11.1 million by moving on from Snell and could put that money toward a veteran arm like Corey Kluber, who reportedly is on the Red Sox' radar, as well.

The Rays still have a decent rotation led by Tyler Glasnow and Ryan Yarbrough and again should battle the New York Yankees for AL East supremacy as the Red Sox continue their rebuild.

The Padres, meanwhile, continue to load up after their first winning season in 10 years, as Snell will join a pitching staff that includes Dinelson Lamet, Zach Davies and Chris Paddack and will get Mike Clevinger back from Tommy John surgery in 2022.