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Rays trade Snell to Padres for Mejia, prospects

Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Tampa Bay Rays traded left-hander Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres for catcher Francisco Mejia, prospect right-handers Luis Patino and Cole Wilcox, and minor-league catcher Blake Hunt, the Padres announced Tuesday.

Snell, 28, authored a 3.24 ERA and 4.35 FIP over 50 innings last year, serving as the Rays' ace en route to an AL pennant. Over 29 2/3 additional postseason innings across six starts, the southpaw posted an impressive 3.03 ERA and 4.30 FIP. He started the memorable and decisive Game 6 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 2018 AL Cy Young winner is under contract through 2023 and owed $39 million over the next three seasons.

Mejia, 25, was a top-ranked catching prospect when the Padres acquired him from the Cleveland Indians midway through the 2018 season for closer Brad Hand and reliever Adam Cimber. Mejia struggled over 116 games with the Padres, hitting .229/.282/.398 with 12 homers and one steal. He joins Mike Zunino behind the dish for Tampa.

Patino, 21, made his major-league debut in the abbreviated 2020 campaign. Working primarily out of the bullpen, the flame-throwing right-hander owned a 5.19 ERA and 5.61 FIP in 17 1/3 innings pitched. Patino is considered the No. 23 overall prospect in baseball and seventh-best right-handed pitcher, according to MLB Pipeline.

The 21-year-old Wilcox has yet to throw a pitch in affiliated ball, but he ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the Padres' system. San Diego selected the right-hander in the third round of the 2020 draft out of Georgia.

Hunt, 22, last played at High-A in 2019, hitting .255/.331/.381 with five homers and four steals over 89 games. Hunt's minor-league career began as a designated hitter due to injuries, but the slugger has adapted well behind the plate while also progressing as a hitter.

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